Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bi-coastal, OCD data crunching

When you're both a policy student and political wonk and this semester's loan hasn't posted yet, you spend the weekend before your cash influx is expected doing things like poring over your home state's Democratic caucus results. Plus, it's the first time I can remember that Washington State actually mattered in a presidential primary!

My preferred candidate won every county except one in the Evergreen State, so I'm celebrating in my own little underfunded-but-expecting-$$-soon way. (Well, and I also text-messaged Xtina and Mi Hermana. But Mi Hermana is currently in LA for Mi Cuñado's father's funeral, so the celebratory text was a slightly guilty one.)

However, the percentages from each county and legislative district are fascinating. (Nobody but Washingtonian political wonks will find any of this interesting, but what the hell, I'm bored on a Saturday night, and really need that check to post on Monday like it's supposed to...) Besides, I don't know enough about all the other states that have voted to scrutinize the geography-based numbers. (The numbers on age, gender, race, and education, however...)

Where Obama did the best (as of 10:26pm EDT, according to the WA State Dem site):
Garfield Co., 100% -- In rural eastern WA, very Red-heavy. Apparently there are
a few liberals, and all of them were Obama fans.
Columbia Co., 93.75% -- Also eastern WA, very rural area and Red-heavy.
Okanogan Co., 82.14% -- The biggest county, in the north-center of the state, practically in Canada. Also Red-heavy.
King Co., 37th LegDist, 81.92% -- Traditionally the most radical, liberal, urban legislative district in the state. (Their state legislators can always be counted on to vote the way I agree, at least, and they're also the friendliest and most accessible, in my opinion.) I lived in this legislative district until La Madre's house was redistricted in 2002 into the 34th LD. This district is also the most ethnically diverse, with a huge African and Southeast Asian immigrant population as well as the historically black and Asian-American neighborhoods. It is also highly economically diverse, spanning swanky houses with views of the lake (like my uncle's!) to some of the poorest urban areas in Seattle (like the high school where I tutored).
San Juan County, 81.44% -- In the Sound. Comprised mainly of one big island. Quasi-rural in that city-folk-summer-here type of way. Very vocal, outspoken, involved citizenry.
Where Obama did the worst (as of 10:39 pm EDT, according to the WA State Dem site):
Douglas Co., 37.65% -- In rural eastern WA, very Red-heavy.
Franklin Co., 50.4% -- In rural eastern WA. It's worth noting that this was the first county in WA to become majority Latino, in a state that is only about 9% Latino.
Adams Co., 51.72% -- Also in rural eastern WA. It's worth noting that this was the second county in WA to become majority Latino.
Grays Harbor Co., 54.72% -- Old logging and fishing area on the coast, now very
economically depressed. Tended to vote for Republicans in local elections but Democrats for all federal-level offices., thought in recent years, possibly tied to the decline of the area's major industries, they've started to heavily favor Dems.
Yakima Co., 54.74% -- In central WA. This county is about 48% Latino (again, in a state that is only about 9% Latino.) Hugely agricultural. This is where a lot of the apples come from! =)
Not that there's necessarily any correlation/causation between high Latino populations and primary election voting patterns (on the part of non-Latinos as well and perhaps more especially), but still, I find the data interesting.

And lastly, the areas where I've voted (as of 10:59pm EDT, according to the WA State Dem site):
King Co., 43rd LegDist, 77.7% -- A large area encompassing three main colleges, a lot of old mansions and Catholic schools (including the two where La Madre went), and the historically queer section of town. Tied for second-most liberal legislative district in the state. I voted for five years in this LD.
King Co., 34th LegDist, 70.5% -- The Westsiiiiiiiiide! Woot. Spans the areas with beachfront property to areas that have to make do with views of the Olympics on clear days. And because it only mattered a few years ago when passing anti-discrimination legislation, elected (at the time) the third "out" legislator. Tied for second-most liberal legislative district in the state. I was redistricted to this LD from the 37th -- locally, before redistricting, there were cracks about the "right side" of the Westside being in the 34th with the Boeing engineers, and the "wrong side" being in the 37th with the Boeing mechanics. Ah, local jokes. But now we're all one district! This is where I'm currently registered to vote. Obviously I couldn't caucus, but La Madre sent me my absentee ballot, and I'll mail it on Monday well in time for the primary on the 19th. Even if the primary results don't matter...
Clearly, I need to finish my program so I can jump back into the fray!

Record numbers turned out for only the second-ever caucus in recent WA political history. One estimate put it at 200,000 for the Democrats alone! That's double the number that showed up in 2004!

Full results here.

On the other side, with 78% of the Republican precincts reporting, and according to CNN's website at 11:04pm EDT, McCain is at 26% and amazingingly, Huckabee is at 24%. That 24% makes me a little nervous... La Otra Hermana hasn't returned my call asking her if she caucused. And La Madre had to work and then had a church board meeting, so I know she didn't caucus either; besides, she doesn't tend to go for partisan events, just the voting booth.

I love how both party's primaries are so wide open this year! (Well, maybe not the GOP at this point...) This is how every election should be! Part of me really does hope neither of the nominees is decided until the actual national conventions in August and September.


Anonymous said...

thank you thank you for breaking it down! i am so entranced by how it all shook out.


Rainster said...

I got a second-hand high reading all the local caucus stories/complaints/issues/critiques!