Campaign tactics led to win, ire

For some students, the end of the Ward 1 aldermanic election last Tuesday could not have come soon enough.

Between flyers, door-hangers and canvassing, the campaigns of Alderwoman-elect Sarah Eidelson ’12 and former opponent Vinay Nayak ’14 brought out a record 973 number of voters in the ward on Election Day. But the elections also caused frustration for the 15 of 25 students interviewed by the News and many commenters on the News’ message boards criticized the turnout tactics of each campaign as overly aggressive.

Still, the record turnout reached Tuesday may not have been achieved without such efforts. Both candidates claimed that their campaigns visited every room in Yale at least once.

Mac Herring ’12, Eidelson’s campaign manager, said Eidelson won the election by a substantial vote margin — the final tally was 566 to 407 — because of the work of the campaign volunteers, who spent all of election day walking from door to door to convince supporters to vote, sometimes accompanying them to the polls if necessary.

Aurora Edington ’15, who voted for Eidelson, said that this tactic earned the candidate her vote.

“The representative for Sarah who came to my door seemed very devoted to it and endorsed her topics well,” Edington said.

Austin Carder ’15, who said he voted for Nayak, said he did so because of the candidate’s campaign efforts. Carder met with the candidate three separate times, which he said was the only reason he supported Nayak, since he “[felt] like they could both do good jobs.”

While the high number of ballots cast in Ward 1 was regarded by both candidates as a indication of ward residents’ eagerness to take part in city politics, the comparatively low interest students registered in the mayoral race appeared to contradict that analysis.

Although 973 votes were cast for Ward 1 alderman, only 738 Ward 1 voters cast ballots in the mayoral race, in which challenger Jeffrey Kerekes lost to 18-year incumbent John DeStefano Jr. by a margin of 1,655 votes. Of 20 students interviewed at the polls Tuesday, 10 were unsure of who they would vote for in the mayoral race.

Since only 48 votes were cast in Ward 1 during the mayoral race’s September primary, neither Kerekes nor DeStefano spent much time campaigning on Yale’s campus due to low expectations for turnout. But the record turnout for the Ward 1 election gave the ward a larger-than-expected role in deciding the mayoral race — when results were tallied Tuesday night, some onlookers said Ward 1 could swing the race.

DeStefano secured his re-election with 55 percent of the vote, the narrowest margin he’s seen since 1993. Eidelson defeated Nayak with 58 percent of the vote.

Ward 1 contains Old Campus and all of Yale’s residential colleges except Silliman, Timothy Dwight, Morse and Stiles.

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