That is the consensus regarding the municipal election this year. There is really very little learn from these races other than how deeply voters seem not to give a crap.
Here in Tucson we rang up a whoppingly pathetic, though not unprecedented, 26% turnout. Sad. But the Phoenix run-offs generated a mind-bogglingly low 22% turnout in District 3 and a stunningly apathetic 14% in District 7 where Rep. Pastor's little girl Laura got her nepotistic derrière handed to her by 11 points despite big money and high-profile endorsements.
Of course, the likely results were clearly evident ever since the match-ups became known: Walkup and Scott re-elected, Democratic freshmen in Glassman and Romero. Voters always reject pay-raise initiatives, so Prop 100's defeat was predictable, though it was a surprisingly close 5 point race: perhaps voters are realizing that running the city should pay more than flipping burgers.
Prop 200 was obviously going to fail, but I expected it to be more of a contest. It ended up a 28%-72% wash-out, which I did not expect. Hopefully, no matter how badly Prop 200 got hammered (and deservedly so, in my view), it will inspire some serious effort by Arizona's governments to start a serious and systemic cooperation on the issue of water sustainability. It is unseemly and destructive in the extreme to see petty turf battles like the one currently raging between Pima County and Marana; local water wars in the courts must not become the way water disputes are settled, and local water initiatives, launched out of frustration over government inaction in the face of the fundamental existential issue of water supplies in desert communities, must not become the way we make water policy.
Personally, I can't imagine that all the money Prop 200 opponents raised was really necessary after all. I hope everyone asks for a refund.
There is one instructive and interesting wrinkle in the Tucson election returns worth mentioning. Democratic voters are apparently better at holding their noses when they vote than are Republican voters.
The evidence for this is in the ballot roll-off on the Mayoral, and City Council races.
In the Mayor's race, the number of blank votes cast (which indicates a valid ballot cast, but without an entry for that particular race) was 3,259. Despite not having a candidate, Democrats generally either voted for Walkup or cast a vote for the Green Party candidate.
In contrast, in Ward 1, where there was no Republican choice, the roll-off was 8,015 votes not cast. The proportion of votes for the Green in Ward 1 was almost identical to the proportion in the Mayor's race (71%-29% vs. 73%-27%), but the roll-off was twice as great. The salient difference between the races was the Mayoral race was GOP vs. Green, and Ward 1 was Dem vs. Green. The Republicans chose to not vote rather than vote for a non-GOP candidate at more than twice the rate of Democrats faced with the same choice. Admittedly, Croteau was surely more appealing to Dems than Beryl was to Republicans, but Beryl was endorsed by Dan Spahr, after all.
In Ward 2 and 4, where there were clear Democrat vs. Republican match-ups, the roll-off was a few hundred votes lower than even the Mayor's race (2,620 and 2,957, respectively).
I think that this is good evidence that Democrats have an easier time than Republicans compromising their values and voting for the lesser evil. That is, I suppose, both a blessing and curse.