Revenge of the Doughnuts!
Jennifer Kim wins the old-fashioned way
So much for that realignment. As has now been true for umpty-ought council elections, the candidate anointed by central-city progressives, that being Margot Clarke, cleaned up among those self-same progressives. And has now been true twice for Clarke, she tanked everywhere else. She did better than she did in 2003, but not better enough.
None of this would be surprising except that back in May, Clarke benefited from the split field to come in first (though well below 50%) in the Northwest and Southwest suburbs. While it was fairly foregone that, in this round, Clarke would again take the central city and Jennifer Kim would again prevail in North Austin (with its sizable Asian community), the west-of-MoPac boxes seemed to be at least moderately in play. As it turned out, not so much even in places like Circle C, where Clarke's Toll Party connections were supposed to be meaningful, Kim vacuumed up every available spare vote. Now, for the details:
C E N NW SE SW TOTAL Margot Clarke 6/11 61.2% 54.8% 30.8% 37.8% 53.8% 38.9% 46.5% Jennifer Kim 6/11 38.8% 45.2% 69.2% 62.2% 46.2% 61.1% 53.5%
Turnout: Basically a little more than half of May's figures across the board, except in the Northwest, which in itself explains about half of Kim's margin of victory. The Northwest's share of the total vote cast grew 3% from May to June, while other sectors' share remained flat or decreased.
C E N NW SE SW TOTAL Turnout 6/11 11.4% 6.6% 7.7% 13.1% 4.6% 8.3% 9.0% Turnout 5/7 20.7% 12.5% 15.4% 21.0% 9.8% 16.1% 16.5% Decline since 5/7 -45.1% -46.9% -50.0% -37.9% -52.5% -48.0% -45.6% Share of total vote 29.2% 8.9% 14.8% 23.9% 7.3% 15.9% 100.0% Share of vote 5/7 28.9% 9.1% 16.1% 20.9% 8.4% 16.6% 100.0%
Margot vs. Jennifer, then and now: Clarke's margins against Kim declined everywhere, even in the sectors where she won this time, and even in Central, where she got above 50% last time. (By the way, Clarke's victory in the Southeast this time came entirely from three 78704 boxes.) But the size of the decline in the Northwest and Southwest, in particular or Kim's ability to make up a hell of a lot of ground in those areas is pretty stunning. The Northwest's share of Kim's total vote climbed nearly 7% from May to June, from 21% to 27.8%.
C E N NW SE SW TOTAL Kim vs. Clarke 6/11 -22.5% -9.6% +38.3% +24.4% -7.6% +22.3% +7.0% Kim vs. Clarke 5/7 -29.3% -16.2% +6.7% -6.6% -14.2% -9.7% -13.1% Kim gain +6.9% +6.6% +31.6% +30.9% +6.6% +31.9% +20.2%
Getting 50%: Another way of looking at this is to compare what each candidate needed to get to 50% in each sector, and then compare those marks to what they actually got. For example, Clarke needed to gain 11.5% in the Southwest to hit 50%; she got 0.3%. Kim needed a 21.1% increase to win; she got 32.3%. And so on.
C E N NW SE SW TOTAL Clarke vs. 50% 5/7 +0.7% -6.9% -20.5% -16.6% -6.9% -11.5% -9.6% Clarke 6/11 vs. 5/7 +10.5% +11.7% +1.3% +4.4% +10.7% +0.3% +6.1% Kim vs. 50% 5/7 -28.6% -23.1% -13.7% -23.2% -21.0% -21.1% -22.8% Kim 6/11 vs. 5/7 +17.4% +18.3% +32.9% +35.3% +17.2% +32.3% +26.3%
NOTES: Sectors = House districts (C=49. E=46, N=50, NW=48, SE=51, SW=47). Turnout based on votes cast in P3 races only.
Mandy and Gregg: Of course, that 0.3% and 32.3% combined are the total percentage that Mandy Dealey and Gregg Knaupe (in the case of the Southwest, mostly Knaupe) got in the first round. So comparing those lines on the chart tells you how Clarke and Kim actually split the votes up for grabs. Overall, four out of five of those votes went to Kim, verifying the perception of the race as a contest between Margot and three Not-Margots. (We're assuming for arguments' sake that the turnout decline between May and June applied equally to each candidate's voters, which is a big assumption.)
Another illustration: In boxes where Knaupe performed well in May, Clarke did 10.5% worse (and Kim did 10.5% better) than her citywide average. Or, put another way, in Knaupe's best boxes Kim won with 64%; in Knaupe's worst boxes, Clarke won with 56.2%. Conversely, in boxes where Dealey performed well, Clarke did 8.8% better (and Kim worse) than her citywide average.