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Politics Northwest

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn lost his bid for re-election last month with diminished support through most of the city compared with four years ago.

A Seattle Times analysis of precinct vote returns shows a familiar pattern in city politics. Viewed as the marginally more progressive candidate, McGinn carried Seattle’s most liberal inner-core neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, the Chinatown International District and the Central District. That’s similar to the electoral base that took him to victory in 2009.

But Mayor-elect Ed Murray ate into McGinn’s base even in those neighborhoods. Compared with 2009, McGinn’s support was down everywhere but in parts of Southeast Seattle.

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The sharpest drop was in Capitol Hill, where McGinn’s support tumbled by 8.9 percentage points compared to 2009 — not a surprise; Murray lives there and amassed a solid progressive record representing the 43rd Legislative District for 18 years.

McGinn’s support fell 7.8 percentage points from four years ago in the University District/Ravenna area, and he lost 5 or more percentage points in Ballard, Delridge, Fauntleroy, Lake City, Magnolia, Queen Anne, South Park and West Seattle.

McGinn’s only increase in support compared with four years ago came in the Southeast Seattle neighborhoods of Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill.

Murray, meanwhile, attracted his strongest support from Seattle’s outer-ring, waterfront-view neighborhoods including Montlake, Magnolia, Laurelhurst, West Seattle and Queen Anne.

Murray ended election night with a double-digit lead on McGinn. But the race tightened substantially as later ballots were counted. When the election was certified last week, the final result was Murray 51.5 percent, McGinn 47.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the precinct data show socialist Seattle City Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant piled up her largest vote advantages in many of the same neighborhoods that backed McGinn.

Sawant, who made national headlines by defeating 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin, drew 60 percent or higher support in the Central District, Capitol Hill, the Chinatown International District and Wallingford.

She also scored more than 55 percent in Rainier Valley, Ballard, Beacon Hill, Fremont and the U District.

Sawant defeated Conlin 51 to 49 percent citywide.

Conlin’s biggest support (55 percent and higher) came from outer-ring Seattle neighborhoods including Laurelhurst, Magnolia, Montlake, Sand Point and West Seattle.

Jim Brunner: 206-515-5628 or

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