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Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
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Female voters key in Davis/Lovett victory

After April 13, those who supported former Student Government Association Senators Dalton Turner and Justin Robinson for President and Vice President may have wondered how their candidates lost by almost two hundred votes (twenty percent of the electorate).  After receiving the election demographics from the Registrar’s Office, the results show that the gap between Mollie Davis and Dalton Turner among female voters was key.
The Davis/Lovett ticket beat Turner and Robinson among women voters by 30 points.  Davis/Lovett had amassed 319 female votes, while Turner/Robinson only won 168.  If Turner would have narrowed the female vote, Davis would have won only by 30, or three percent of the entire electorate.
More specifically, white female voters chose Davis over Turner three to one.  Davis won 75 percent of the largest voting block for SGA President with a total of 232 votes.  Dalton captured only 77.
Back in February, Turner was leading significantly among white female voters when polls were taken.  Turner led Davis by seven points because, by most estimations, he was favored by sororities on campus.  The election results showed, however, that white sorority votes were an integral part of Davis winning.
Davis beat Turner by 50 points, as well, among white sorority voters.  The Davis/Lovett ticket received one 146 votes while Turner only received 44 votes by white sorority members.  This means that 46 percent of Davis’ total female votes came from sorority members.
Davis not only did well among females as 53 percent of males voted for her ticket.  Turner, who in February led Davis by seven points in the polls among males, received 162 votes from male voters as the Davis/Lovett ticket received 181.
Again, Davis was favored heavily among white male voters.  Her ticket had a 40 point difference over Turner’s ticket.  Davis had a total of 129 votes from white males while only 85 white males voted for Turner.
While these numbers are somewhat different from February, they are not all that surprising.  First, the Davis/Lovett ticket emphasized heavily on a name recognition campaign, at the start, to offset Turner’s perceived popularity.  Couple that with a lackluster start by Turner’s campaign, the momentum began to shift.
Then, Davis created a platform that intrigued and flattered the student body.

While some questioned her ticket’s ability to accomplish the platform during her administration, most agreed that Turner’s platform was reactionary, mundane, and nothing to be excited about.  Even Turner agreed that his platform may not be excited; his emphasis of the platform being “doable” apparently did not resonate well among voters.
One strategy that may have worked for Turner, however, was his Vice Presidential pick.  Pundits of the election speculated Justin Robinson’s selection of vice president would help the ticket with the minority vote.  This may have proven true as Turner led Davis among minority voters by ten points.  Even among minority females, Turner edged out Davis by four votes.
Every other category, however, Davis dominated Turner.  Many of the campaign strategies by Davis (including placing her banner facing Mary Erin Porter Hall) focused on winning the underclassmen vote.  Her strategy was fruitful as she beat Turner by 24 points.
If SGA decides to keep the month long campaign, Davis’ model of campaigning will be utilized.  She overcame what many had seen as insurmountable odds.  Davis’ win also signifies that longer campaign seasons may also benefit candidates not associated with Greek life.  Davis is the first SGA presidential winner in the last five years not from a social greek society.

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