Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Redistricting Commission confirms legislative & congressional status quo for Madison Park

The Washington State Redistricting Commission formalized the State's legislative district boundaries in a report to the State Legislature yesterday, confirming that Madison Park will remain within the 43rd Legislative District.  The only significant changes to the 43rd occurred north of the ship canal, where there were minor modifications to the District's boundaries on both the east and west sides.  In addition to Madison Park, the 43rd encompasses Downtown, Capitol Hill, Montlake and Eastlake on the south side, as well as the University of Washington, Ravenna, Wallingford, Fremont and Greenlake on the north side.  The 43rd's legislators, Senator Ed Murray and Representatives Jamie Pedersen and Frank Chopp, comprise a pretty powerful Democratic delegation, given that Murray is Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and Chopp is the House Speaker.

As was widely covered in the local press, the Redistricting Commission last month approved the boundaries for the State's Congressional Districts, adding a 10th District to the mix.  That re-mapping resulted in creation of a "majority minority" district near the borders of Madison Park.  The 9th Congressional District was pushed north into Seattle's Central District as part of the effort to give it a majority of minority voters (50.3%).  The newly drawn 9th now extends all the way to the south side of E. Madison Street---though along with Madison Park, Madrona and Denny-Blaine remain in the 7th District.

The 7th District (shown in green on the map above), used to include all of Seattle, as well as Vashon Island, Renton, and Kenmore. Now the District extends from Vashon and Normandy Park in the south to Edmonds in the north.  Meanwhile, the 9th District, which used to extend from Olympia to Renton, now begins in Federal Way and extends to Bellevue, taking in much of southwestern Seattle as well.

This closeup of the 7th District map gives a better view of Madison Park's new proximity to the 9th District boundary (the area in white):

Madison Valley is now cut in half by new Congressional boundary, the northern portion remaining in the 7th District, while the southern portion joins the 9th.

The 9th District is represented by Democrat Adam Smith, who is in his eighth term and is expected to be easily re-elected in spite of his district's new boundaries and borderline "majority minority" status. Our 7th District, of course, is represented by Democrat Jim McDermott, now in his twelfth term.

The Commission, as part of its report, released demographic information on the various districts. The 43rd Legislative District, is comprised of 75% whites and 25% "people of color," while for the 7th Congressional District the numbers are 73% and 27% respectively. Those interested in knowing more about the Commission's workings and final report can find detailed maps and data at the Commission's website.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How we voted: 2011

Almost 60% of Madison Park’s 3,400 registered voters mailed in their November election ballots this year, and on each of the major ballot issues they agreed with the majority view—but with an even stronger level of support.  King County Elections recently released the voting totals by precinct, so we took a look at what the numbers show for the nine precincts that make up Madison Park.

On Initiative 1183, which privatized liquor sales, Madison Park registered an overwhelming 67% in favor to 33% opposed, compared to a voting margin of 59% to 41% statewide:

On Initiative 1125, which if passed would have blocked tolling on state roads except by vote of the legislature, Madison Park was again in line with the electorate Statewide, with 68% opposed and 32% in favor:

Finally, on the City’s Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1, which would have imposed a $60 car license fee if it had passed, Madison Park said a strong No of 64%, versus the 56% No vote for Seattle as a whole:

With regard to electing officeholders, Madison Park did not always vote for the ultimate winner, however.  Madison Parkers were in favor of keeping in office each of the four incumbents seeking re-election to the Board of the Seattle Public Schools.  Nevertheless, two of the incumbents were defeated for re-election, in spite of their strong showings here.  Board member Peter Maier, who was defeated by a vote of 49.2% to 50.4% for newcomer Sharon Peaslee, carried Madison Park with 65% of the vote.  School Board President Steve Sundquist also carried Madison park with 65% of the vote, but he lost his seat with just 45.3% of the overall vote to challenger Marty McLaren’s 54.1%.

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.]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The politics of the Park: variations on a liberal theme

When asked, I always describe the political leanings of Madison Park as decidedly liberal—just like the rest of the City. I think it’s fairly well known that every neighborhood in Seattle went for Obama in the last presidential election, including (by overwhelming vote) Madison Park. In the eight years I’ve lived here I can only remember seeing a Republican yard sign a couple of times (“McGavick for Senator”); and that guy up the hill who displayed a “Bush/Cheney” bumper sticker on his Range Rover during the 2004 campaign seemed to me to be decidedly out of step with his Washington Park neighbors.

But there may be some nuances to the politics of the Park, while not really surprising, that I--for one--was just not aware of. What got me curious was a posting earlier this week on Slog, the blog of Seattle’s alternative newspaper, The Stranger. In it, Dominic Holden reproduces a map by Northwest Passage Consulting showing the voting by precinct for the recent housing levy (Seattle Proposition 1). Holden takes Broadmoor to task for being—well, I’ll let him speak for himself:

“That big red patch on the right of Seattle (under the Montlake cut) surrounded by blue and green areas—that's Broadmoor, a gated neighborhood near Madison Park. Broadmoor also resoundingly supported Republican Susan Hutchison. In fact, Broadmoor, which is packed with multi-million dollar homes but opposes a levy to house poor people, was the only precinct in Seattle to support Hutchison.”

On the map, red and orange colored precincts voted against the levy and all of the other precincts voted in favor (deep blue being the strongest supporters, yellow being the least strong). As you can see, Broadmoor was not alone in Madison Park in opposing the levy. One precinct in the heart of the Park (SEA 43-2058) also opposed it, but less strongly than did Broadmoor’s precinct (SEA 43-1992). Almost all of the rest of Madison Park and all of Washington Park strongly supported the levy (55% or more).

This got me curious to see if there have been other important variations in the recent pattern of voting within the Park. But there don’t appear to be. There are nine and half precincts in Madison Park (one precinct is actually a Madison Valley precinct, SEA 43-2020, which takes in the area surrounding Arboretum Court to the north and south of E. Madison Street). In general, it appears that all of our precincts vote alike, though with differing levels of intensity.
For example, in the recent Seattle mayor’s race, Madison Park went solidly for Mallahan. Here’s how that looks on a map created by John Wyble of WinPower (as reported by Publicola):
The deepest blue precincts are those that were strongest for Mallahan and the deepest red precincts were the strongest for McGinn. Here, Madison Park was out of step with the rest of the City and was most out of step with some areas very close to us geographically (the University of Washington and Capitol Hill). We were, however, in line with the politics of those across the water in Laurelhust.

So, while our politics may not be in tune with the rest of the town at all times, we do seem to be generally in harmony with each other (and, for that matter, with Denny-Blaine). Even Broadmoor, whose support for Susan Hutchison as County Executive was a recent outlier, has reversed course when it comes to national elections. The gated enclave threw its support to Bush in 2004 (by 315 votes to Kerry’s 230), but by 2008 the tide had turned. While the eight other exclusively Madison Park precincts gave Obama support ranging from 61% to 75%, Broadmoor also came through with a Democratic vote: Obama with 301 votes (53%) to McCain’s 263. Perhaps signaling the death knell of Republicanism in this old town? Probably not.