Mapping the LA Election

userpic=valley-los_angelesWhile eating lunch, I’ve been staring and playing with this really neat map of yesterday’s election published by the LA Times. Here are some of my observations on this map:

  • It is interesting to note how the electorate split this election, and how it differs from past elections. If you switch to the precinct winner view, you’ll see a very clear split of support: the valley predominantly went for Greuel, the main part of the city went for Garcetti, and south-central went for Perry. Now look at past elections, and you’ll see a very different split: as opposed to Valley/City, the split is East/West (which if you know the city, is a more hispanic/non-hispanic split).
  • In all of the past primaries, including this one, South-Central tends to support a candidate different than the rest of the city.
  • Kevin James was the only avowed Republican running in the race, and if you look at the level of his support throughout the city, you can see why Republicans in general are having trouble in Los Angeles. There are only select pockets in the city where there is Republican strength. It would be interesting if the Times map went back further — in particular, to the election of Richard Riordan — to see how the pockets of Republican strength have changed.
  • The results demonstrate the power of one vote — in this case, mine. At the last minute, I changed my vote from Perry to Garcetti, because I didn’t like Perry’s stance on the subway in Beverly Hills. Look at the vote totals in my precinct, #9006270A. This is the green precinct surrounded by blue (on the N and W) and magenta (on the S and E) in the northern SF valley (near Lassen and Wilbur, if you know streets). The totals were: 64 Garcetti, 63 Greuel, and 62 James. This means, had I supported James instead (as Don W wanted), it would have been a tie for the top three in our district. Even if I had done as originally planned and gone for Perry, it would have been a tie between Garcetti and Greuel. Wow.
  • Turnout in the election was piss-poor, on the order of 16%. C’mon folks — if you want the right to complain about your government, you need to exercise your right to put better people in office. Don’t carp without doing something about it. (Steve Lopez at the LA Times expresses a similar opinion). Oh, and those of you who are apathetic about elections and couldn’t be bothered to vote: do you really want the extremists — on either side — to be dictating your political future? Shouldn’t you be out there making sure your voice is heard? Mark Lacter, over at LA Observed, has some interesting opinions of his own regarding why people didn’t turn out. One of them is that transit should have played a larger role in the discussion. In support of that, here’s another neat interactive map: Average Commute Times in Southern California.

Music: Bark! The Musical (Original Cast): “Dirty Filthy Old Flea Bag”