Thursday, December 2, 2010

How the election played out in Madison Park

For the most part, the posting of political yard signs in Madison Park, other than in support of the occasional school levy, is something that is just not done. So it was noteworthy during this last election cycle that a fair number of “No State Income Tax” signs suddenly sprouted up around the neighborhood. We noticed that a “Defeat 1098” sign was prominently placed in front of Broadmoor by somebody on one day, only to be unceremoniously yanked down (presumably by somebody else) the next.

In rejecting the idea of an income tax, Madison Park’s voters, however, were perfectly aligned with the voters of the State of Washington. The “No” vote here was 64%, and it was also 64% statewide. It’s perhaps interesting to note, however, that the degree of opposition to the proposed tax was not uniform throughout Madison Park. Feelings against Initiative 1098 were generally more intense the higher up the economic scale you moved, with voters in Broadmoor exceptionally opposed:

One neighborhood precinct, 43-1990 (located north of Madison, from McGilvra Boulevard east to the water), actually split down the middle on the income tax issue: 166 votes in favor, 166 votes opposed. Only one other precinct, 43-1817 (located south of Madison, primarily inland, south to E. Lee Street), came close to supporting the tax: 84 in favor, 88 opposed.

On most issues, Madison Park was in agreement with the decision of voters at the State level. In the most important contest, for example, the U.S. Senate race, Madison Park solidly supported Patty Murray over Dino Rossi—though our level of support for the Senator far exceeded the proportion of the total vote she received statewide:

There were two prominent issues, though, where Madison Park was not in alignment with the State as a whole. If it had been up to us, we would have ended the liquor monopoly of the State by solidly passing Initiaitve 1100, which was defeated at the State level:

And Madison Park was very much out of sync with the State’s voters on the issue of ending the sales tax on candy, gum, and soda. While the initiative was completely out of favor here, it passed in a landslide at the State level:

Although contrarian in supporting retention of this particular tax, Madison Park was in agreement with the rest of the State in voting for Initiative 1053, which placed limits on the Legislature’s ability to impose new taxes (55% of Madison Parkers voted in favor, versus 64% in favor statewide). Madison Park was generous with regard to the Seattle Schools, voting 59% in favor of the levy (somewhat less, however, than the 67% “Yes” vote recorded citywide).

Overall, the Park demonstrated again this year that it’s a pretty liberal community and one which votes solidly Democratic when given a partisan choice. State Representative Jamie Pedersen (D), who effectively ran unopposed, collected 58% of all votes cast, while State Representative Frank Chopp (D) garnered 62% of the total vote versus his Republican opponent, Kim Verde. Senator Ed Murray (D), meanwhile, received 55% of the total vote versus his Republican opponent, Jim Johnson.

So, in spite of the ill-informed commentary that we sometimes see about Madison Park being a Republican area of town, that’s hardly the case—unless we’re talking about Broadmoor. Proving itself to be the very last bastion of Republicanism in the City of Seattle, Broadmoor supported every Republican legislative candidate on the ballot, as well as favoring Dino Rossi over Patty Murray for the U.S. Senate by a vote of 63% to 37%. But since it only represented 18% of the total votes cast in Madison Park, Broadmoor’s Republican-outlier precinct (43-1992) was more than overwhelmed by the other eight Democratic-leaning precincts. As some MPB readers may recall, Broadmoor is actually not an assured Republican enclave, which it proved in the last election by voting for Democrat Obama over Republican McCain for President.

Overall, 78% of the Park’s 3,445 registered voters elected to vote in the 2010 General Election, exceeding the statewide participation rate of 71%.

[A note on methodology: There are nine precincts that are wholly contained within the boundaries of what we define as Madison Park. These include the two precincts in Washington Park (43-1819 and 43-1821) and the one precinct in Broadmoor. Washington Park is defined as Madison Park south of E. Madison Street and south of E. Galer Street. There is a very small section of Washington Park that is south of the Seattle Tennis Club (but still north of Denny Blaine), which for some reason has been placed in a different Legislative District from the rest of Madison Park (the 37th versus the 43rd). The several dozen Washington Park voters that are in this 37th District precinct are not included in the Madison Park totals for purposes of this analysis. There is simply no way to separate them out from the vast majority of voters in that precinct who are not located in our neighborhood. For the same reason, we have not included a Madison Valley precinct (43-2020) in our totals. That precinct encompasses the several blocks surrounding the Shell Station on both the north and south sides of E. Madison Street. Therefore, some residents of Madison Park who live to the west of 34th Avenue E. (and vote in a Madison Valley precinct as a result) are also missing from our Madison Park voting analysis. All in all, there are probably no more than 300 voters who have been figuratively disenfranchised from the Madison Park totals as a result of our being unable to count them. Since Madison Park has 3445 registered voters, it is unlikely that the addition of these 300 or so waylaid Madison Park residents would have impacted our vote counts in any meaningful way.]

1 comment:

  1. It is not surprising that rich people voted against an income tax on themselves, but it is disconcerting how many people who would not have been affected by the income tax voted against it. Now we all get to watch the draconian effects of lost state revenues, mainly on the poor (many of whom voted against the tax). Go figure.
    You use the word 'liberal' in a different way than I do. I see more Nixonish Rep or Clintonian Dem in the Park than real liberals.


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