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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Larsen Analysis in Whatcom County

The Washington Post is running a fascinating article on the election results, with a chart that maps the endorsements of candidates from "Freedom Works", "Tea Party Express", Sarah Palin and the confluence between these groups.  The 2nd Congressional was one of the six races where all three of these groups were apparently endorsing the same candidate (John Koster).  Despite this, Larsen narrowly won his seat, after winning his three previous elections by over 60%
Why were San Juan and Whatcom County so resistant to the combined right wing push against Larsen? Below is what the final total will probably look like, excluding the 260 total votes from the small corner of King County that is part of second congressional. Essentially, Larsen drew even in Island and Skagit counties, San Juan (the most progressive vote in WA State), nullified his narrow loss in Snohomish (the most populous county in the 2nd Congressional), and Whatcom County assured most of his margin of victory. Since the vote drifted left as the counting continued (at least it did so in Whatcom County), we can assume Larsen benefited from high turn out.




County Co. T/O Won/Loss %
San Juan 80.56% +32.12% (2933 votes)
Skagit 76.28% -.2% (94 votes)
Island 76.20% +.02% (10 votes)
Whatcom 74.59% +6.86% (5829)
Snohomish 71.58% -1.76% (2201 votes)
Total
+2.14% (6515 votes)


So who were his biggest supporters in Whatcom County? First, here's the Whatcom County Totals with Larsen apparently winning 68 out of 120 Whatcom County Precincts:


Precinct Rick Larsen John Koster Total Votes % for Larsen
Total 45455 39626 85081 53.43%


Here are the top ten precincts supporting Larsen by percentage. These are all Bellingham precincts with eight out of ten in the 40th State Legislative district.  Additionally, almost all of these precincts are literally within site of the WWU Campus and/or traditional student housing areas.


Precinct Rick Larsen John Koster Total Votes % for Larsen
237 83 9 92 90.22%
240 274 32 306 89.54%
242 472 66 538 87.73%
232 357 62 419 85.20%
219 399 75 474 84.18%
213 479 93 572 83.74%
234 335 66 401 83.54%
231 243 49 292 83.22%
241 463 101 564 82.09%
218 548 122 670 81.79%


The purple area is Bellingham County Council Ward Five.
Here are the top ten Whatcom County precincts supporting Larsen by number of votes. Of these, only the two Larsen lost (102, 109) are completely outside of Bellingham.  Kind of wild to see him win 208,209 (E. Bakerview, E. Sunset) with such decisiveness.

Precinct Rick Larsen John Koster Total Votes % for Larsen




209 1106 833 1939 57.04%
201 969 741 1710 56.67%
208 865 589 1454 59.49%
102 783 803 1586 49.37%
206 777 184 961 80.85%
109 741 811 1552 47.74%
228 708 392 1100 64.36%
204 680 299 979 69.46%
245 678 232 910 74.51%
244 677 399 1076 62.92%


Conclusions:
Many Whatcom County residents contributed to Larsen's victory. But it  looks like WWU students and Bellingham Democrats were the among the most significant contributors.  If you examined Larsen's victory in Whatcom County as a greater part of the whole, Democrat strategists might conclude that the more of their core urban voters they energize, the more seats they will keep.



Congressional District 2, U.S. Representative (Partisan office, 2-year term)
Island, King*, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish*, Whatcom
CountyCandidateVoteVote %
Island



Last updated on
11/10  |  2:00 PM


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(Prefers Republican Party)
17,81449.99 %
(Prefers Democratic Party)
17,82450.01 %
Total Votes35,638100.00%
King



Last updated on
11/19  |  3:27 PM


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(Prefers Republican Party)
11142.69 %
(Prefers Democratic Party)
14957.31 %
Total Votes260100.00%
San Juan



Last updated on
11/19  |  3:28 PM


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(Prefers Republican Party)
3,10033.94 %
(Prefers Democratic Party)
6,03366.06 %
Total Votes9,133100.00%
Skagit



Last updated on
11/17  |  3:32 PM


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(Prefers Republican Party)
23,98750.10 %
(Prefers Democratic Party)
23,89349.90 %
Total Votes47,880100.00%
Snohomish



Last updated on
11/19  |  4:59 PM


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(Prefers Republican Party)
63,93450.88 %
(Prefers Democratic Party)
61,73349.12 %
Total Votes125,667100.00%
Whatcom



Last updated on
11/17  |  5:07 PM


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(Prefers Republican Party)
39,62646.57 %
(Prefers Democratic Party)
45,45553.43 %
Total Votes85,081100.00%
Total



Last updated on
11/19  |  4:59 PM


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(Prefers Republican Party)
148,57248.93 %
(Prefers Democratic Party)
155,08751.07 %
Total Votes303,659100.00%

1 comment:

Cascadia said...

More excellent analysis, and a refutation of the idea that votes don't count.

Now, if you could just get Whatcom's Left to finish filling out their ballots. What's the cause of that? Is Washington DC so much more important than what goes on in the Left's own backyard? It fascinates me.

I tend to think the disengagement of the Left is far more profound than the "dissatisfaction" that underlies the tea parties, the Left just doesn't make a big noise about it. A feature perhaps of being undercut too long, more than a generation, by professional centrists like Larsen.

Related, the other thing that would be interesting to know is how the vote "got out" in these strongly progressive precincts. What are the dogwhistles on the Left?