What happened in the ASSU Executive race?

The final results are in…87% of the votes went to ASSU Executive candidates Robbie Zimbroff and William Wagstaff. Only 13% went to Stewart Macgregor-Dennis and Druthi Ghanta. I must say, this is quite shocking, as I predicted a much closer race than what actually occurred (of course, you should never trust the ASSU commentators).

An immediate and logical reaction would be blaming the drastic vote disparity on the past week of negative campaigning against Macgregor-Dennis. Arguably, this played a significant factor in decreasing his final vote total, as did the power of the SOCC endorsement on the other side. But to think that these two factors combined could strip such a drastic number of votes from the Macgregor-Dennis camp might be a bad assumption.

I believe that part of the reason for such a low vote count comes from the low approval of the Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis administration throughout the year. Something had to influence the freshmen voters (though based on a pie chart at the results party, they only constitute maybe 30% of the vote). Perhaps many of the votes that went to Zimbroff-Wagstaff came from disaffected voters who made their voting decision long before this week.

At least one can say that the tremendous success of Zimbroff and Wagstaff cannot be attributed primarily to their campaigning. It appeared as though their campaigning was limited, relying largely on SOCC-coordinated efforts of flyering and GOTV. That said, they did not really mess up in the campaign.

While I hold that the past results of the Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis administration did have quite an effect on voters, this does not mean the negative campaigning was ineffective. I would imagine that the negative campaigning stripped at least 15%-20% points from what Macgregor-Dennis/Ghanta would have received otherwise…but again, my analysis may be way off-base. It will be good to look at the exit poll data that the Elections Commission posts online.

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