Republicans tend to lose in this county. Up until now we had a all-Democratic commission and every other elected official was Democratic, save an Independent sheriff. I assumed going into this race that Blake would do better than Republicans in general, and it turns out he did well enough to win.
Here's the data I've been playing with. I took the three Republican results from 2012 (Senate, governor and President) and averaged them. Then I compared Bud Blake's performance.
Here's a chart to illustrate my point:
Basically, what you're seeing here is Blake beating the GOP turnout everywhere. Even in places where Republicans do horribly, Blake kept a consistent advantage over the GOP performance.
I'm not sure what to chalk this up to. Whether Blake really did perform better as a candidate, so his party label meant little. Or, that the Republican brand in Thurston County that you could take a standard business friendly candidate, strip him of his party label, and he'd win.
But, where exactly was he strongest?
The deeper the red dot, the more votes Blake got against the Republican average.
Basically, again, Blake did better than the average Republican candidate in Thurston County literally everywhere. But, if you were to pick out hot spots, it would be in the outer reaches of Lacey, out towards Fort Lewis. This would fit the story line that Blake is a veteran. While somewhat new to Thurston County, this is something understood my military families who live close to Fort Lewis.
He didn't do as well as I would have thought in the northern Hawks Prairie area (assuming military and retired people) but did much better around older southern Hawks Prairie and deeper Lacey. He also did well against the average Republican vote in west and eastern Olympia. Not many actual votes there, but still picking up against the conservative average.