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Mapping Sawant’s win in the politically divided District 3

Support for Sawant goes to 1.01 in this map of Election Night totals by precinct created by @gardnerphil

Kshama Sawant has secured her City Council job for four more years, and with it a new challenge: representing an extremely polarized District 3. Maps of election night-only returns show the “Capitol Hill divide” was in full effect in the race between Sawant and challenger Pamela Banks.

Capitol Hill and the Central District, representing nearly all of apartment-dense precincts in the district, went solidly for Sawant. In fact, early returns show Sawant took nearly every precinct west of 31st Ave and south of Roy St. Sawant also made inroads north of the Republican St divide that characterized the 2013 mayoral race between Mike McGinn and Ed Murray.

As expected, Banks’s base lay along the more affluent District 3 permitter neighborhoods of Madrona, Madison Park, and Montlake. Sawant did manage to win one precinct in solid Banks territory — the Montlake business district near 25th Ave E and E McGraw St and and the blocks surrounding it.

In most CD precincts, areas Banks considered her home turf, Sawant won with at least 60% of the vote. District 3’s slice of First Hill was a checkerboard. Banks posted strong wins in three dense First Hill precincts while Sawant won the more hospital-heavy areas.

To a degree, the Sawant-Banks divide also fell along the District’s racial, household income, and political donation lines. Neighborhoods that are whiter, have a median household income of at least $110,000, and donate heavily to political campaigns went solidly for Banks.

It was a repeat of sorts from the August primary, when Sawant took home 61% of the vote on Capitol Hill, 64% in the CD, and only 6% in Broadmoor, according to analysis from Benjamin Anderstone. Broadmoor’s private golf club probably won’t be extending a membership to Sawant any time soon after she only managed to get 13 votes in the precinct compared to Banks’s 170.

As Sawant’s lead grew to 10 points Friday, Banks conceded the race Friday night.

Position 8 candidate Jon Grant also found a strong cluster of support on Capitol Hill that mimicked Sawant’s. However, outside of the densest parts of Fremont and Ballard, Grant was unable to gain enough of a foothold to oust Council President Tim Burgess. Central District neighborhood activist Bill Bradburd only managed to win a Yesler Terrace precinct and two others in the Position 9 race against Lorena Gonzalez. 

You can see the Election Night maps created by Phil Gardner for all the districts and City Council races here.

UPDATE: Here are the top 5 precincts by percentage for each candidate. We haven’t hunted around the map to identify where they all fall, yet.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.42.58 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.42.36 PM

Welcome to Precinct SEA 43-2547, the “reddest” in District 3:

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.47.43 PM

And, yeah, Banks really cleaned up in Broadmoor:
Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.52.17 PM


UPDATE 4:20 PM: If you’re still keeping track, Sawant’s total is now up to 55.5%

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 4.20.04 PM

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20 thoughts on “Mapping Sawant’s win in the politically divided District 3

  1. Pretty much what I figured, but I’m a bit surprised to see Banks not do better in the CD given her experience with the Urban League.

    Also, it seemed the rent control platform would fall flatter there where more people own homes.

    • It would be interesting to see the % voter turnout in these precincts. The actual number of votes cast reported here seem pretty small to me.

      • Yeah, that would definitely be interesting. Sawant had great organization. Her people were highly vocal and loyal, and got out the vote. That could be the real story for her win.

      • I’d give the Sawant team props for energy, but I think they were a little disorganized too. For instance, Sawant’s red-shirts knocked on our door 8 or 9 times throughout the primary and general, including 4 times after we’d confirmed having already voted. That seems like pretty poor field management to me.

  2. Just wondering, is there a breakdown showing voter turnout in the pro-Banks vs pro-Sawant precincts? It would just be amazing and unusual and possibly a great sign of things to come if the younger, more liberal precincts actually had higher turnout.

      • fwiw, I held off doing turnout maps until all ballots are processed (since older voters tend to return their ballots quicker, election night turnout is going to be disproportionately heavy in precincts with a higher median age). Comparing the election night turnout to the final total turnout might be interesting in and of itself, however.

  3. King County Elections site has the breakdown by precinct. It looked like Sawant was elected by about 12% of people who were eligible to vote but that 75% of them didn’t bother to vote. Low turnout is a problem in a democracy. (Not for Sawant but will she succeed in the very least remembering she has to represent ALL of the people of district 3 and be available to people for local matters?)

    • Well, this is the achilles’ heel of the District system: she “doesn’t” have to represent everyone in District 3. You can request a meeting, or to otherwise have your voice heard, and she can tell you screw off; the only thing she loses is your vote (if she ever had it in the first place). As noted, she won by getting a whopping 12% of eligible voters to elect her, and she did so while paying zero lip service to representing District 3 (as opposed to the city as a whole). I don’t think her constituents want her to (the spokesperson for Socialist Alternative made it very clear they had zero interest in representing the wealthier neighborhoods).

    • As the votes roll in, the numbers are looking a little better. 28,400 votes total in a district with ~70,000 registered voters. I believe that 40% voter participation in our district was the highest in Seattle. Go district 3!

  4. “Broadmoor’s private golf club probably won’t be extending a membership to Sawant any time soon after she only managed to get 13 votes in the precinct compared to Banks’s 170.”

    So residents with more in the banks voted for Banks.

  5. I-5 Shores for Sawant!

    There were signs for Pamela on 3 corners of Summit and Thomas on Election Day. So much for that.

  6. I take issue with “an extremely polarized District 3.” It’s not like Sawant v Ben Carson. Both Kshama and Pamela are very liberal, as is the Seattle electorate as a whole, and differ by degrees of liberalism not by opposing world views.

    • Degrees of “liberalism”? How about degrees of “progressivism”(if that’s a word) instead? “Liberalism” has both a history and political aspects that differ from socialism.
      But, yes, compared to Eastern Washington, for example, your point is taken.