Loose Lips

Gray Campaign Projections Way Off East of the River

LL just received a batch of internal documents from Mayor Vince Gray's 2010 campaign that show not even Gray's aides were expecting the high levels of support he got in some parts of the District for his successful bid to defeat former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

The campaign set a goal of winning 32,701 votes in Wards 5, 7, and 8, the predominantly African-American wards that made the difference in that race and the last two D.C. Council at-large elections. But Gray won 39,180 votes in those wards, surpassing his organization's goal by 17 percent.

The documents, entitled "Gray for Mayor Second Half Ward Action Goals," don't make clear who made them or when. But LL was still interested to read them now, two years after the race, because federal authorities are alleging that an-off-the books shadow campaign helped Gray get elected through a well-financed get-out-the-vote push that several sources say focused east of the Anacostia River in Wards 7 and 8. (Here's Gray campaign Ward 8 coordinator Bernadette Tolson in the Washington Times last month: "We knew there was another campaign.") The campaign surpassed its goals in those wards by more than 5,000 votes, getting 26 percent more support there than the campaign projected, the documents show.

Was the boost the result of bad projections, a shadow effort, or something else? LL doesn't know. The campaign was also way off in projecting how many votes it would get in the mostly white Ward 3 (maybe that Mary Cheh endorsement didn't help as much as aides hoped?). And of course, the fact that the official campaign projections appeared to undercount the support Gray would get might back up Gray's insistence that his organization didn't know anything about the shadow campaign.

Anyhow, here's the breakdown by ward:


And here are the documents:

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Drez

    Someone's trying to cover thier ass.

  • KeepinItReal

    (Snicker). woo. woo. woo. It will be ok.

  • StrangeFruit


    You are reaching for straws! When did a projected goal become a hard, factual number? And, how is a 17% differential "way off"?

    One would think if someone can predict an outcome within a 17% margin of error, the person or persons would be hailed as the reincarnation of Nostradamus.

  • Read Scott Martin

    Likely their forecast did not factor in hundreds of thousands (rumored-estimated ~$500K - $1 million) spent independently on voter ID and GOTV by the teachers union.

  • DC Antics

    This investigation has to be near completion. The sooner all is revealed, the better for the District residents who ultimately fund these corrupt "leaders" and their shenanigans.

  • Wait, What?

    StrangeFruit, I don't know what business you are in, but in my line of work, missing a projection by 17% would have you fired - immediately. 17%+ variances are HUGE...heck, 10% is a big miss. And Alan's the one reaching for straws?!

    Interesting W6 numbers. I am proud that my ANC SMD did not turn for this One City Farce, at least.

  • KeepinitReal

    Is it common for District residents to be led about by their ANC Commishes like dogs on a chain?

  • StrangeFruit

    Wait, Wait?

    Reading is fundamental and if you weren't so blinded by your bias you would have read, from the blog, that Gray's people surpassed ( not missed) their goal by 17%! Alan wrote, "Gray won 39,180 votes in those wards, surpassing his organization's goal by 17 percent."

    Of course, being a mindless drones you will re-read Alan's blog and agree him that, because Gray's campaign didn't miss their projected goal, but surpassed it by a mere 17%, there's something illegal or unethical about it.

    The fact that people (including teenagers) in Ward 7 and 8 hated Fenty with a passion and they came out in record numbers to vote his ass out of office. But of course, the media--especially the City Paper-- never acknowledged the impact Wards 7 and 8 had on the past mayoral election.

    I guess your tune will now change to,"in my line of work SURPASSING a projected goal will get you fired--immediately". And, yes Alan is reaching for straws!!!

  • StrangeFruit

    agree with him that...

  • Wait, What?

    @StrangeFruit, funny, 'butcept you didn't say anything about surpassing a goal. What you said was, "one would think if someone could predict an outcome within a 17% margin of error, the person or persons would be hailed as the reincarnation of Nostradamus". I simply pointed out that a 17% variance is huge, which is true, and hardly the hallmark of effective projections. My tune doesn't need to change - your understanding does. I won't hold my breath.

    As for being illegal or unethical, Machen and a jury will sort that out.

    Better luck next time.

  • mizluvsco

    Wait, What?: What does missing (mis-reading) something so obvious get you in your line of work????

    Well MM & LL, you're trying. But you can't un-ring a bell, un-honk a horn, or un-tock a tick. I for one appreciate this column.

    Wait, What's Ward 6 may not have "turned", but looks to me like the campaign didn't expect as much from you as they got. Somebody was not drinking ya'll's kool-aid.

    KUDOS to the Ward's 5, 7, & 8 campaign workers, whomever they are. They did an outstanding job. Wonder what the bug is up BT's azz. She's been feeding the media a lot of negative information for a long, long time. Must not have been as highly regarded within the campaign as she thought. Or she should/woulda known this bit of highly relevant information.

    Hey Drez: Cover who's ass??? You need to cover that yawn with the hands you have over your eyes.


    LOL: Now we know why Cheh called for The Mayor to step down. She didn't have the influence she thought she had in HER ward. Maybe her's is the ass of which Drez speaks.

  • cminus

    @StrangeFruit, I think you've been suspicious of Suderman for so long that you don't realize when he's posting something that helps Gray's case rather than hurting it.

    If these numbers accurately reflect what Gray thought was his path to a city-wide victory, then he didn't think he was going to get nearly as many votes in Wards 5, 7, and 8 as he actually did, and that's pretty strong evidence that he didn't know about the shadow campaign that was drumming up votes for him there.

  • SEis4ME

    Nice Alan real nice.

    Way to project your own bias against Gray under the auspices of "interest in the shadow campaign." Dude, you can do so much better than this sort of inept journalism.

    StrangeFruit is exactly right.