The maps for this year’s general election cover the range of fairly typical results and one rare kind of result.
Proposition 1 won 56 to 44 percent, which is a pretty decisive win in county politics. But it also reconnected parts of the county that aren’t normally voting together. Proposition 1 was mostly branded as a “public safety” tax, but it would have also given some money towards election security.
This map, which shows mixed results across both very urban and very rural precincts, is rare but not unknown in Thurston County politics. To illustrate this point, both College (arguably the most liberal precinct in the county) and Zenkner Valley (the most conservative) were in the bottom three of precincts for Yes votes.
The first time I saw this map in Thurston County, it was 10 years ago, when Sue Gunn beat Jeff Davis for the port commission. In the case of Gunn, the urban/rural connection was likely two-fold: urban voters who were attached to her pro-environmental message and rural voters who were attached to her anti-tax messaging.
In terms of Prop 1, I imagine this connection would be for urban voters who were voting against funding for police and rural voters who were just voting (again) against any kind of tax.
Interesting are the 12 pivotal precincts in the election for Sheriff Sanders last year. Sander’s map looked a lot like a Democrat/Republican map with more blue precincts near downtown Olympia and getting more conservative as you head out. And even though Sanders performed worse compared to the topline Democratic candidate (Senator Murray), there were a dozen or so precincts that went for Sanders but not Murray. All 12 of these precincts, though some of them fairly rural, passed Prop 1.
These maps are more traditional Dem/non-Dem maps in Thurston County.
First, Wayne Fournier, who won 50 to 49:
This is about as bare bones as an inside to out Democratic map can be in Thurston County and still win. It is interesting that Vivian Eason did much better in Southeast Lacey than other non-Democratic candidates have done. And, we might have to start considering the rural precincts out west of Tumwater heading into the Black Hills as Democratic precincts.
Emily Clouse, who won 60 to 39 percent.
Same kind of map, but just more blue. There were a handful of precincts south of Tumwater that went for her, which is interesting. It is also worth noting she lost a couple of precincts by Johnson Point that I thought she had a chance at.
Where this map is most useful is to contrast her map with Fournier’s.
Because Clouse won by a higher percentage, it makes sense she did better (in blue) over the vast majority of the county. She even did marginally better in Tenino, where Fournier is mayor.
But, where Fournier did better was in the rural precincts around Tenino. This is probably evidence of Fournier’s work about a year ago to rally against sex offender housing in Maytown.