One of the most interesting parts of the primary election cycle in Olympia for me is the difference between the folks that vote in the primary and those that vote in the general a few months later.
While I was really wrong about my original assumption about low turnout during this primary, its still interesting to look at what precincts will provide more votes in November.
The primary two years ago had a classic example of this shifting primary/general electorate. Rhenda Strub got through the primary with 3,000 votes (39 percent) but won the general with over 6,000 votes (55 percent). Her opponent barely improved here vote total in the primary, picking up less than 1,000 of the more than 4,000 available new votes.
So, there are a handful of precincts in Olympia that compared to the general in 2007 (the only comparable primary because it was the only one also held in August) voted in low numbers during the 2009 primary. The map below shows the 10 precincts that had less than 65 percent of the votes they had in 2007.
View under vote precincts in a larger map
Just a few thoughts about these precincts:
1. Most are on the edges of town. You could assume that these, then, are people who spend less time downtown and might shop in Lacey as much as they shop in Olympia.
2. 4 of the 10 are in SE Olympia. These are newer, probably more conservative (by Olympia standards) areas.
3. If you care about downtown, you voted in this election. I haven’t mapped the anti-Larida Passage candidates by precinct, so I don’t know if they did particularly well in one part of town. But from the low turnout in the non-downtown focused areas, I feel safe to say that Larida Passage brought people out for this one.
4. On the other hand, there will be people voting in November that don’t care much about Larida Passage. Turnout is going up in November, especially in these precincts. The question is who is going to speak to these folks who stayed out of the primary?