BOISE -- On Tuesday night, the two Boise bond issues failed, narrowly missing the required two-thirds vote needed to pass. KTVB analyzed numbers precinct by precinct to see where the bonds failed and how that matched up with the campaign strategies.
Campaign managers work hard to put together strategies to get their desired outcome at the polls. With the two Boise bonds issues, if the large amount of mailers alone were an indication, there was big strategy here with the "Yes! Yes! For Boise" campaign.
As the votes were just beginning to be counted Tuesday night, the "Yes! Yes!" campaign was optimistic, as was Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan about the campaign's efforts, especially in his neighborhood: The North End.
"I think the Yes Yes campaign has done a great job of IDing voters, and today, they were turning them out," Doan said as results were just starting to come in. "I live in the North End, and I think the Northenders will be a high voter turnout and a high 'yes, yes'."
The first early numbers from absentee votes were in the campaign's favor. Based on county-provided data and maps, those votes were coming in from the northern parts of the city, where the most ballots were requested (between 60 and 150 in some North End and northwest precincts) and where the campaign thought they'd get strong support.
"We certainly looked at the North End. The North End is typically supported these type of initiatives. We have also done work in the bench. There's different parts of Boise that have a real interest in this," Brice Sloan, Yes! Yes! campaign co-chair, said.
In campaign strategy, KTVB political analyst Dr. David Adler says it would be smart to try to get your known supporters where they live and stay quiet elsewhere.
"You don't want to give too much life to your campaign in those areas where you know people are going to oppose your measure, as we saw in the case of the bond measure. So you're walking a very tight line here," Adler said.
In this bond campaign, Adler says that's why you didn't hear or see many big ads. Instead, effort was obviously spent going to certain people with door-to-door visits and mailers, in some cases multiple mailers.
"I think those that were supporting the bond were of course primarily those who lived in the north end and bench, among others. But those were the people upon supporters of the bond were really counting," Adler said.
Sloan told KTVB on election night that they did look at certain neighborhoods, but he says there was also widespread support for the bond measures scattered throughout the city.
"You go to where your support is in the community," Sloan said. "Some of the challenge has actually been is we've had such broad support to the community that it's been hard to actually find out where that is exactly. The North End is easy to get to obviously, but again it hasn't been limited to just the North End, it's been throughout Boise as well."
KTVB's analysis of preliminary numbers shows turnout was higher in the northern parts of the city, as were the number of "yes" votes, but Adler says there was simply too low turnout across the board for the bonds to fully succeed.
"When you look at those numbers, you realize that if the turnout had been a little higher in those areas where people were supporting the bond, it would have passed," Adler said.
Adler also believes the close numbers would mean success if the proponents attempted to run similar bonds again. Mayor Dave Bieter has already said he'd like to look at how to get these projects done, with running bonds as one of the possibilities.
"Maybe they'll roll this out again. Knowing that they came so close, you have to believe they'll be able to push it through the very next time they move it," Adler said.
According to preliminary numbers available to and compiled by KTVB, the following is a rough breakdown of neighborhood-by-neighborhood "yes" votes for the first bond issue, which would have funded fire department facility construction and improvements:
- North- 73 percent
- Northeast- 73 percent
- Northwest- 68 percent
- Southeast- 67 percent
- Bench- 63 percent
- West- 56 percent
- Southwest- 42 percent