Hello Loyal Readers,
Here’s my first stab at decoding the election results. First, some caveats, the election results are not finalized yet, but I’m using the most recent numbers which look relatively stable. Second, all we have are numbers. What I mean by that is we can look at how people voted, but unless your name is Professor Xavier, you cannot see inside their heads to why they voted the way they did. We can theorize, and support those theories with the data we have, but in the end, they remain glorified speculation.
But in my case, it is speculation with giant color maps.
When I sat down to do my electoral analysis, I was delighted by the variety of races we have available to us. We have a conservative on conservative battle with Louws/Ericksen, a strong Dem in the county versus a hardcore conservative that does well in Bellingham with Kremen/Larson, and a straight forward Dem versus GOP in Maginnis/Crawford. Look for breakdowns of those races in the next couple of days.
I know many people are looking for analysis on the Mayor’s race, but I’m not sure how much I can add to the conversation. It was closer than I expected. The general math was that Kelli and Dan split the Democrats and Kelli picks up all the conservative votes which means she wins 60-40. Dan Pike, to counter-act this doomsday scenario launched an aggressively negative campaign (see some of my coverage of that here and here) towards Kelli Linville in an attempt to eat away at her Democratic vote, and it seemed to work. Assuming conservatives voted pretty heavily for Linville, it means that Pike scooped up about 60-65% of the Democratic vote to bring it this close.
As for the geographic split, it looks like Kelli took the North and East while Pike took the downtown core and Fairhaven. Or as Shane Roth adroitly noted during the primary, all the precincts next to the train tracks. You could draw the conclusion that for voters who’s biggest concern was the Coal Train, Pike was their candidate. For voters who had more diverse concerns, they voted Linville. But again, I’m no mind reader.
You could theorize, as the Herald did, that the northern sections of Bellingham, and those areas around the lake are more conservative, therefore they favored Linville. However, Edgemoor (244, 245) both tend to be conservative on local candidates yet they went for Pike. On the other hand, I know a great many die-hard liberals who voted for Linville, and a few conservatives that voted for Pike. So perhaps looking at this as a partisan lens is not the best idea.
Another diminsion is turnout. Washington Conservation Voters made a big effort to turn out new or sometimes voters for this election. Most of those irregular voters come from WWU Campus, Happy Valley and Downtown where students, and young folk live. These voters came out for Pike, pushing those areas more heavily in his direction.
That is really all I have on this race. Stay tuned for my post on the Louws/Ericksen race and the search for “moderate republicans” . . .