Friday, August 21, 2009

Precincts that vote low in primaries

One of the most interesting parts of the primary election cycle in Olympia for me is the difference between the folks that vote in the primary and those that vote in the general a few months later.

While I was really wrong about my original assumption about low turnout during this primary, its still interesting to look at what precincts will provide more votes in November.

The primary two years ago had a classic example of this shifting primary/general electorate. Rhenda Strub got through the primary with 3,000 votes (39 percent) but won the general with over 6,000 votes (55 percent). Her opponent barely improved here vote total in the primary, picking up less than 1,000 of the more than 4,000 available new votes.

So, there are a handful of precincts in Olympia that compared to the general in 2007 (the only comparable primary because it was the only one also held in August) voted in low numbers during the 2009 primary. The map below shows the 10 precincts that had less than 65 percent of the votes they had in 2007.

View under vote precincts in a larger map

Just a few thoughts about these precincts:

1. Most are on the edges of town. You could assume that these, then, are people who spend less time downtown and might shop in Lacey as much as they shop in Olympia.

2. 4 of the 10 are in SE Olympia. These are newer, probably more conservative (by Olympia standards) areas.

3. If you care about downtown, you voted in this election. I haven't mapped the anti-Larida Passage candidates by precinct, so I don't know if they did particularly well in one part of town. But from the low turnout in the non-downtown focused areas, I feel safe to say that Larida Passage brought people out for this one.

4. On the other hand, there will be people voting in November that don't care much about Larida Passage. Turnout is going up in November, especially in these precincts. The question is who is going to speak to these folks who stayed out of the primary?


einmaleins said...

It would be quite a feat for Jeff to come back in November... will be interesting to follow to see if and how a comeback like that can be manufactured...

Anonymous said...

Rhenda bumped her numbers from 35% to 55%. Jeff lost at a 70% rate. furthermore Rhenda did not face a divisive issue like the rezone. If you look at the 4% undervote, (338) between position #5 and #5 it is clear that voters may have not known who among the three women to vote for but they sure knew who they didn't like.

Sorry Emmmitt, but the opinion shaping voters who follow issues have spoken. They are ready and able to punish those who ignored their overwhelmingly clear message. The rezone sucks! We told you we do not want high rises on our waterfront in 1996 and we still do not want high rises on our waterfront now. Which part of that message do you not understand?

PCO Oly 204

Anonymous said...

Um, I didn't mean you Emmett, I meant it as a rhetorical flourish. Just wanted to be clear on that. Laurian

Anonymous said...

Has this trend been apparent in years other than 2007? Can we truly call a phenomenon observed once a trend? BTW, I live in SE, and although I didn't vote in the primary in 2007, I did this year. Know why? Because I'm so disgusted with Jeff Kingsbury's behavior toward the citizens of this city. Deplorable. Many of my neighbors agree.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Rhenda have some health problems that prevented her from vigorous campaigning early on? I recall she doorbelled like a demon in the weeks before the general. There may have been some circumstances in 2007 that are very different from those this year.