All political buffs know that when it comes to elections, the past is prologue-except when it isn’t. So you won’t find us making any presidential predictions. But we did dig up some interesting numbers from the Super Tuesday primary. Close elections are won and lost in those key “bellwether” precincts, so here are some that will be important on November 8-plus a few intriguing odds and ends.
Bush Country. Expect another massive Bush vote from precinct 1164, which votes at the University Park School. On Super Tuesday, Bush beat Dukakis by a margin of 699-68, or about 10-1. Almost as Bushy was the giant precinct 2266, North Lake Elementary in North Dallas. Out of 1,347 votes. Bush took 776 and the Duke 90. The precinct is so solidly Republican that both Bob Dole and Pat Robertson outpolled Dukakis, and Jack Kemp, with 77, wasn’t far behind.
Where was George? Not at precinct 3363, Oliver Elementary in southern Dallas County, which may be the most Democratic precinct in the county. It was Dukakis 30, Bush 1. Quite a margin, but consider: the same precinct cast 963 votes for Jesse Jackson. Even some heavily Republican precincts were better for the Duke.
The Jackson Factor. The election could turn on whether blacks come out strong for Dukakis or sit home pining for Jesse. A precinct to watch here is 2321, voting at the Huff Recreation Center in East Garland. Their 67 voters went 66 for Jackson, 1 for Dukakis. If two-thirds or more of the voters in similar black precincts don’t show up for Dukakis, it’s over.
The Reagan Democrats. But blacks alone won’t do it for the Duke. The white, blue-collar voters who followed Reagan into the GOP must return in large numbers for the Demos to have a chance. A key precinct here could be 3360, voting at Seagoville City Hall. These moderates and conservatives cast almost as many votes for Southern favorite son Al Gore (118) as they did for Bush (123). The Duke pulled 82 votes, Jackson 32. The votes of such moderates around the country could spell the difference.
Who Knows? Precinct 3312, Davy Crockett Elementary near downtown Dallas, cast 87 votes for Bush and 87 for Dukakis.
Who Cares?Out of 366 votes cast by precinct 1193 (Arlington Park Elementary, west of Harry Hines), Dukakis got 5, Bush 0.
Who’s There? At precinct 1234, T.W. Field Elementary on Royal Lane, nobody voted for anybody. Let’s hope that’s not the ultimate bellwether precinct.