Last month’s raw election results told a blunt story about Seattle’s political state of play, handing seven City Council candidates more votes than their opponents.
But precinct-by-precinct results released this week tell a more detailed tale about the district races and highlight where exactly divisions slice through the electorate.
When mapped, the precinct results paint a recognizable picture, revealing stronger support for more progressive candidates in areas with apartments along Seattle’s urban spine, as opposed to more affluent areas with houses near Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Most elections in recent years have yielded the same portrait.
The political lines tend to sharpen in Seattle’s closest contests, such as the clashes this year that pitted Kshama Sawant against Egan Orion in District 3, Alex Pedersen against Shaun Scott in District 4 and Andrew Lewis against Jim Pugel in District 7.
Mapping turnout adds more nuance, showing which precincts carried more clout, per registered voter. Those maps can look similar to the others, because older homeowners tend to vote at higher rates than younger apartment dwellers.
District 1 (West Seattle, South Park)
Incumbent Lisa Herbold, who was endorsed by many labor unions, dominated precincts in working- and middle-class Delridge, High Point, Roxhill and South Park.
Her business-backed challenger, attorney Phil Tavel, did best in wealthy precincts near the water, including Alki and Seaview. He cracked 60% in only eight precincts, though some had high turnout.
District 2 (Southeast Seattle, Georgetown)
Tammy Morales, supported by unions and social-justice activists, won most precincts. The community organizer netted more than 60% in precincts throughout Columbia City.
Mark Solomon, a crime-prevention coordinator endorsed by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Jenny Durkan, struggled in most precincts. His stronghold was Seward Park.
Turnout was lower across District 2 than elsewhere.
District 3 (Central Seattle)
Sawant, the council’s well-known socialist, ran away with most precincts in the Central District, First Hill and the dense part of Capitol Hill.
The race was highly polarized, with chamber-backed Orion garnering more than 60% in almost every precinct abutting Lake Washington and the Ship Canal.
Turnout was lower in many areas that sided with Sawant and higher in many that sided with Orion.
District 4 (Northeast Seattle, Eastlake)
In a race split down the middle, Pedersen was preferred to the east of University Village and Scott was more popular to the west.
Pedersen, a former council aide with support from the chamber and neighborhood-group activists, carried wealthy neighborhoods such as View Ridge, Laurelhurst and Windemere. Turnout was high in those areas.
Scott, a writer and organizer endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, dominated in younger and denser University District and Roosevelt. He also won most of Wallingford.
District 5 (North Seattle)
In this year’s most lopsided contest, incumbent Debora Juarez won all but nine precincts. Backed by labor unions and the chamber, her votes spread across neighborhoods.
Challenger Ann Davison Sattler, who focused on concerns about homeless camping, scored more than 60% nowhere. She fared best in Broadview and in precincts near Lake Washington.
District 6 (Northwest Seattle)
Dan Strauss, a council aide with support from service-worker unions and progressive activists, performed well in denser neighborhoods, such as Greenwood, Fremont and downtown Ballard.
Heidi Wills, a former council member with business support, won pockets in Green Lake and Loyal Heights. More suburban North Beach and Blue Ridge were strongholds, and high turnout in her top areas helped keep the results closer.
District 7 (Pioneer Square to Magnolia)
Topography played an important role, as union-backed Lewis dominated low-lying neighborhoods with apartments. The 29-year-old assistant city attorney won neighborhoods like South Lake Union, lower Queen Anne and Interbay.
Former interim police chief Pugel won most precincts up the hill on Queen Anne and earned more than 60% in precincts near the Magnolia Bluff. Turnout was higher on the higher ground.