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VOL. 133 | NO. 145 | Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Polls & Precinct Splits, Behind The Roundhouse Revival and The Bubba

By Bill Dries

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With a week left in early voting we have reached that part in the campaign where candidates and campaigns have one last chance to read the signs, interpret them on how this is going and act. They will still be doing the first two things up until the polls close on Aug. 2. But very shortly there won’t be time to do the third and have it make a difference in the outcome.

It is at that moment that a polling company called JMC Analytics and Polls released the results of a phone poll of 500 registered voters in Tennessee on the four-way Republican primary for Governor and came up with a lead of six percentage points for Bill Lee over Randy Boyd. In its analysis, JMC concludes Lee’s lead is “not a secure one.” The Tennessee Journal breaks it down.

The most immediate reaction from an informal survey of those on both sides of the partisan divide Monday around these parts is that the poll is a reaction to the attack ads primarily between Boyd and Diane Black and may be a harbinger for campaigns in other races that have followed including some of the county general election races. Election day will tell.

The precinct by precinct early voter turnout numbers mapping where voters live show most of the precincts are either decisively Democratic or decisively Republican as early voting continues through Friday.

As the second full week of early voting got underway Monday, 6,660 citizens cast early ballots at the 27 sites across Shelby County bringing the total for the voting period to 39,135 through Monday. Same election cycle four years ago at this point 43,724 had voted early. And in the 2010 elections, we were at 48,873 early voters at this point. In those two past elections in the same election cycle, the Downtown location was the only site open for the first two days followed by 20 other sites across the county. This time around five sites were open for the first three days followed by another 22.

The Shelby County Election Commission is measuring the early vote in a number of ways including voters per hour. By that standard the Saturday early vote was the slowest of the period thus far at just under 25 per hour. The top day was the July 13 opening with 40 voters per hour.

A look at the precincts where the early voters live shows the top precincts for turnout are either decisively Democrat or decisively Republican in terms of which primary they are voting in. The turnout and percentages are through Saturday.

Precinct 57-00, which votes on election day at Second Baptist in East Memphis, had the highest turnout so far with 13 percent of its 4,578 voters casting early ballots. Of the 595 early voters, 408 voting in the Republican primary. Precinct 79-02, which votes election day at Havenview Middle School in Whitehaven had the ninth highest turnout so far and was the top majority Democratic precinct with 234 voters in that primary and seven in the Republican primary. Overall it had a 9.26 percent turnout.

Things get more interesting in places like 68-03 which votes at Shady Grove Elementary School where 104 voted in the Democratic primary and 157 in the Republican primary. In 44-01, which votes at St. Michael Catholic School, 136 voting in the Democratic primary and 166 in the Republican primary. Take a look at 91-04 which votes at Hope Presbyterian: 130 voting in the Democratic primary and 171 in the Republican primary. Still in Cordova, at 91-01, which votes at Cordova Community Center, 149 voting in the Democratic primary compared to 140 in the Republican primary.

The third Roundhouse Revival promoting the push to restore and reopen the Mid-South Coliseum finds the Coliseum with a much different future than it had three years ago during the first revival.

At City Hall on this council Tuesday, the council talks trash, traffic tickets and life along the Wolf River Harbor.

The council will also vote on the city administration’s Fairgrounds plan on its way to the state for approval in the fall. That follows the third Roundhouse Revival – a weekend gathering featuring wrestling, live music, some hoops and a lot of sentiment in favor of restoring the Mid-South Coliseum. The third Roundhouse Revival also reflects the political journey of the movement to reactivate the Coliseum which is in a much different place than it was three years ago at the first one when the Coliseum Crushers made their way from parts unknown through the ropes of wrestling ring set up in the bend of Early Maxwell Boulevard.

The Shelby County Commission approved the same Fairgrounds resolution Monday – required by the state for the Tourism Development Zone blessing necessary to finance the city plans. But the commission’s mind was on the end of term for county leaders coming up at the end of August. After that a new county mayor takes office and the 13-member commission gets at least eight new members. So, the outgoing commission is winding up to take one more shot at the whole idea of who represents the county in court. Speaking of court, a construction trade group is about to take the county to court over the county’s year and a half old minority business program.

Tuesday at Quail Ridge Golf Course in Bartlett, The Bubba gets underway – formal name: The 38th Annual Bubba Conlee Golf Tournament. Want to see why Memphis is a junior golf hotbed for girls and boys, young women and young men? This tournament is the place to be through Thursday with a field from 28 states and 6 foreign countries.

Robert Watson is co-owner of Heritage Building Supply and yes, $5 vinyl.

In our Construction Emphasis, Memphis Heritage opens a new store with old things in the Edge district that makes the most of what can be saved when an old building is demolished.

You’ve probably heard about how difficult it is to find enough land to build new homes on especially if you are a developer and not a builder. It’s not a new phenomenon in the Memphis market. There also a shortage of skilled laborers and that means those who have an opening in their schedule are making good money.

How about this combination: infill investor developers. Here the scale is smaller because …infill. And some of the coordinated efforts across communities are working to develop the skills needed to take on this combination.

The Clayborn Temple event coming up this Saturday featured in The Week Ahead has been postponed.

PROPERTY SALES 64 151 1,493
MORTGAGES 45 105 1,152
BUILDING PERMITS 201 410 3,466