Reality Check: Really? Turnout was Good?
Written by Charles Ellison on May 19, 2017
Photo: Josh Middleton
While any election is exciting—particularly for the political junkies of “Reality Check,” my WURD afternoon drive time radio show—one couldn’t help but notice the Ghost of Low Voter Turnout haunting voter mood once more. Even as a flurry of Democratic District Attorney candidates such as Larry Krasner, Tariq El-Shabazz and Joe Khan called in to “Reality Check” just a few hours shy of poll closing, listeners heard the spitty pessimism bubbling from the throats of worn out pols.
Krasner and El-Shabazz were particularly cantankerous about near empty polling locations; Khan kept a sunny spin on it, though, just happily skipping on the campaign trail and thankful for the free air time—as his campaign, noticeably, didn’t buy an ad on the state’s only Black-owned talk radio station. Neither did the FOP-backed Rich Negrin, who cleverly deployed consultant Dan Siegel to sneak in a few pro-Negrin fist pumps during the weekly Reality Check “Strategist” segment. But, even Siegel acknowledged turnout wasn’t looking so good that day.
Yet, let headlines and reigning wisdom from that day tell it, and Philadelphia witnessed a near holy, comet-sighting surge of voters.