Monday, October 3, 2022

Bruce Harrell’s one-sided victory and late progressive surge are key statistics for the 2021 Seattle election

Now that nearly all of the ballots have been scattered, it’s worth taking a look at what really stood out in the grand total of Seattle’s key races in 2021. How do they compare historically? And what lessons can be learned for future elections? Here’s a look:

Harrell’s historic victory. Bruce Harrell’s win difference – more than 17 percentage points – was one of the largest of the last seven Seattle mayor races held in 1997, with the only exception in 2005, when then-mayor Greg Nickels dropped 28 points on rival Al Runte. interest margin.

And that Nickels-Runte race could not be compared. Runte, a former professor at the University of Washington, was a rookie candidate who did not campaign heavily, raising less than $ 17,000.

This year, Harrell’s rival, Seattle City Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez, raised nearly $ 1 million for her candidacy for mayor. She also benefited from an additional $ 1 million spent by a work-backed political action committee en route to a decisive loss. (Harrell raised $ 1.3 million and was backed by a funded business PAC, which raised roughly the same amount.)

Late splash of voices: the new norm. Harrell’s victory looked like it could have been even bigger on election night when he was leading by about 30 percentage points.

But election observers in Seattle are used to the predictable fluctuation of votes later tally – towards candidates who are politically more left-wing. A clear lesson for parties voting this year: Any progressive decline of 12-14 percentage points on election night could catch up.

Gonzalez, City Council nominee Nikkita Oliver, City Attorney nominee Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, and current councilor Teresa Mosqueda have benefited from a surge in votes of this magnitude belatedly, although unlike some in past years, the trend line has not changed the outcome. any race.

Who Voted Later? According to a Seattle Times analysis, the rise in the number of progressive candidates is due in part to younger voters.

The average age of voters received on the Friday before election day was 56 years old. This group had about 95,000 ballots, which constituted the majority of the votes counted on election night.

Meanwhile, the average age of voters whose ballots were received on or after election day was 43. This group had about 123,000 votes.

The same phenomenon has been observed in past elections, although the late-to-vote group seems to get younger over time. In 2015, the average age of voters whose ballots were received on election day was 53, up from 47 in 2019 and 42 in November this year.

Who is even tired of voting? In inter-annual elections with a relatively low turnout, older voters play a crucial role because they vote with a higher percentage.

Turnout in Seattle in November was 54% across the board. But among voters 65 and older it was much higher (closer to three quarters), and among voters aged 18 to 24 it was much lower (closer to one third).

The numbers themselves are important, and the city is home to many people between the ages of 25 and 34, including some 129,000 people who were registered to vote earlier this year. This millennial group returned more ballots in November than urban groups of 35-44 and 45-54.

The 25-34 cohort cast 54,200 ballots, or about 20% of the total votes, while the 65 and older cohorts cast about 63,000 ballots.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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