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For All Nails #83B: The Briar Patch FN1

By David Mix Barrington


From: Paul Markey, Markey Research
To: Mayor Miriam Levine, Chair, NYP PJP
Re: Summer Election Hypothetical
Date: 10 May 1974

Dear Miriam, As you requested, I have analysed the hypothetical situation of a full Council election taking place during the coming summer. Let me first say that if this scenario makes any sense at all, it is because you know something that I don't, but it wouldn't be the first time for that. Per your instructions I have made the following assumptions:

1. The election will be triggered by some external foreign event,
2. Most or all of the "Green Dog" Councilors will overtly defect to the Liberals,
3. The de facto PJP split will become formal before the election,
4. Your wing of the PJP will act in full electoral alliance with the PC, and finally
5. There will be no effective counter-alliance between the Liberals and the Dean wing of the PJP.

Of course any prediction about such an election, which would be the first in CNA history to occur during a term, is automatically suspect. It would by definition occur during a volatile period in voter opinion, and even minor events during the campaign could have a huge impact. The predicted results below are a baseline only. That being said, our survey data shows a substantial possibility of GG Monaghan being returned with a majority. Since this is somewhat counter to the current conventional wisdom, let me justify my conclusion:

1. Other analysts seem to be consistently ignoring the fact that the 1973 election occurred less than a month after the greatest military debacle in modern CNA history. Those who voted for Monaghan then have either a heavy emotional investment in him, or a strong antipathy to Skinner that he has done nothing to assuage. On the other hand, many borderline PC voters have returned to the fold since the election, seeing the "steady leadership" they want from Monaghan.
2. Every seat your wing of the PJP won against two parties in 1973 should be safe with no PC opponent in 1974. I think you can pick up two more with their help, depending on the parameters of the alliance.
3. Your wing should maintain control of the party organization in the NC, while the other wing does so in Manitoba. If you are able to act pre-emptively to secure the Indiana PJP organization as well, you will be able to use it to influence more key races than will Dean.
4. The PC's losses in the SC will be substantial, but they can only lose each of these seats once. The apparent double blow of Green Dog defections and the Liberal threat to marginal seats is really only a single blow. The GG won nine of the 12 first-round defectors back: he bought some and convinced others. The convincees are mostly gone, but there is a chance a few of the others will stay bought.
5. The stoplesses FN2 of the CNA are littered with the corpses of those who have underestimated Carter Monaghan in the past.

Projected Council Results of Hypothetical CNA National Election, Mid-1974
State PC (Monaghan) PJP (Levine wing) Liberal (Skinner) PJP (Dean wing)
Northern Confederation 15 9 7 4
Southern Confederation 5 0 34 0
Indiana 24 2 4 0
Southern Vandalia 10 0 5 0
Northern Vandalia 5 0 8 0
Manitoba 6 0 2 10
CNA 65(-5) 11(+2) 60(+3) 14(0)

Changes are from the 1973 party numbers, not the GG vote. The overall baseline result is thus a 76-74 majority for Monaghan. Of course there has to be a large swing from this baseline to the Liberals before Skinner can be elected without help -- my guess is eight percentage points.

I know you're particularly interested in the NC. I have New York the same except for your help giving Endicott to the PC. (It would be nice to take out Dean, of course, but it's not going to happen unless there's a landslide that makes this whole analysis academic.) In New Jersey the alliance works perfectly, with the PC giving you Trenton and you giving them Bergen and Ocean City. The Liberals pick up a Green Dog in Pennsylvania, but lose Lancaster to the PC, plus another seat in Massachusetts FN3.

Indiana, as usual, is where the election will be won or lost. I really don't think I'm being too optimistic there (Liberal loss of four) given how well you and the PC each did last time without working together. Again, get control of the PJP organization before the split, no matter what it costs.

One caution that emerged from our surveys concerns how the election would come about. If the GG is seen to provoke the crisis himself in order to get an election at a favorable time, it won't wash as he'll look devious. On the other hand, being forced to an election by his enemies makes him look weak. The ideal thing would be to have him somehow forced into the election by events somewhat beyond his control. It's like that old Negro story, where Brother Rabbit tells Brother Fox that the thing he's most scared of is to be thrown in the briar patch, where he knows that's the place he's safest. A very tricky business, but the GG can pull it off if anyone can.

Of course the very existence of this survey and analysis will stay totally in house. I did the calculator runs myself, and the questions we asked the voters were pretty subtle. I hope the information is useful to you.



Proceed to FAN #83C (CNA politics): Politics as Usual.

Proceed to 13 May 1974: The Dream and the Nightmare.

Proceed to Paul Markey: Between the Rivers.

Return to For All Nails.