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Monday, December 2, 2013

Sawant Kicked Ass in the New Seattle City Council District Three

Posted by on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Kshama Sawant won 58.5 percent of the vote in her new Seattle City Council District 3, on the strength of overwhelming support on Capitol Hill and in the Central Area.
  • Elliott Day | lltt.co
  • Kshama Sawant won 58.5 percent of the vote in her new Seattle City Council District 3, on the strength of overwhelming support on Capitol Hill and in the Central Area.

Screw 2013. When it comes to Seattle City Council electoral politics, the game is already afoot for 2015 when all nine council seats will be up for reelection thanks to the passage of the districts charter amendment. And any potential challenger thinking Kshama Sawant's surprising victory was some sort of mass hysterical fluke that will make her easy pickings in two years, better study the map above.

Sawant may have only beaten 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin by a 50.7 percent to 49.0 percent margin citywide, but within the precincts that are entirely within the new District 3 boundaries, she racked up an impressive 58.5 percent to 40.5 percent victory. That's 58.5 percent of the vote for a political newcomer immigrant women of color openly running under the Socialist banner against a scandal-free pro-enviro four-term incumbent. Kinda stunning.

Also stunning is the stark divisions between District 3 neighborhoods and within the electorate in general: You were either with Sawant or against Sawant. Where Sawant won—mostly on Capitol Hill and in the Central Area—she tended to win big, with more than 65 percent of the vote. Where Sawant lost—mostly lakefront neighborhoods and other wealthy enclaves—voters went 65 percent or more for Conlin.

Just look how straight some of those lines are, with voters on the wealthier side of the street voting one way and voters on the other side voting the other. This is a map that represents divisions over inequality of income and opportunity, as well as attitudes over urbanism and density. And that's not a tension that's likely to resolve itself within two years.

I'm open to the possibility that Sawant might prove a disaster in office (though barring a scandal, is it really possible to be a disastrous council member?), but I suspect that Sawant will actually prove even more formidable the next time around. Of course she'll have the advantages of incumbency—higher name ID, more earned media, greater access to fundraising and endorsements. But I also suspect she'll have at least one significant legislative victory under her belt. Sawant ran on a $15 an hour minimum wage, and with Mayor-elect Ed Murray and nearly the entire council now backing the proposal to one degree or another, it seems likely that Sawant will be able to deliver.

That and the strong support she already enjoys in her district could make Sawant one of the least vulnerable incumbents in 2015. Challengers beware!

 

Comments (28) RSS

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seatackled 1
One project at a time, but it will be interesting if she introduces legislation at some point to reduce the salaries of city council members. What if they earned $50,000 instead of $120,000?
Posted by seatackled on December 2, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this
2
this is great news.

this means this incompetent hag will be really difficult to boot.
Posted by you get what you deserve. on December 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 3
she's got the suburbanite elderly seeing the spectre of stalin in her Boeing comments.

hilarious.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
"Is it really possible to be a disastrous council member?"

I'm not sure, but I recall how Heidi Wills basically made herself a laughing stock by pushing for a ban on circuses in Seattle city limits. Granted, Sawant would likely not suffer the same kind of backlash thanks to district elections, unlike both Wills and her fellow one-and-done council member, Judy Nicastro. One more reason districts are a good thing.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 5
@1
Good question. I would imagine they might buy generic batteries instead of namebrand Duracell.
My question to you. If one claims to be a Socialist like me (or promotes Socialism like Goldie), I think there needs to be a salary cap for us revolutionaries. Seatackled, do you believe that Goldie needs to earn something like $25K or less a year?
Posted by dnt trust me on December 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 6
@3: Stalin is certainly a stretch, and I am not making an excuse for such hysteria, but when you suggest that workers should forcibly wrest property and control from the owners of a company, people are going to rightfully see an aspect of her socialist ideals that is discomforting, to say the least.

I have a feeling most people who voted for her were voting for a better minimum wage and progressive tax structure, not the nationalization of the companies that are major drivers of the local economy.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
7
Yeah but Conlin was a giant bore, so you don't think if you can get a charismatic liberal they can beat Sawant in 2015?
Posted by Seattle14 on December 2, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
seatackled 8
@7

Who?
Posted by seatackled on December 2, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
9
But... Screw the SECB, I'm voting against districts because they suck. Who wants Sawant to win a district handily instead of by 1.5% ?
Posted by ChefJoe on December 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 10
I'd like to see a map segregated by the time of residence in Washington State to illustrate newcomers vs. long timers.

My guess is the former, < 10 years, skew towards Sawant.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on December 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 11
@8 Who?
The Hippy Hippy Shake!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVhIzDT8H…
Posted by dnt trust me on December 2, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
12
Maybe I'm missing something here, but given her proven city-wide electability, shouldn't Sawant run for one of the at-large seats, and open up the 3rd district seat to another progressive (or, gasp, socialist)?
Posted by robotslave on December 2, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 13
Now, if we can keep impressing on progressives the crucial need to vote in every single election, we can turn congress on it's head.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Goldy 14
@12 She might.
Posted by Goldy on December 2, 2013 at 12:02 PM · Report this
guerre 15
@10 Wouldn't want those immigrants and tech workers expressing the franchise, would you? I would bet you are right on the money about this split, though I think the more interesting question is renters vs homeowners.
Posted by guerre on December 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Fnarf 16
Sawant's going to crash and burn next time, once people have a good look at what they've got.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 2, 2013 at 12:10 PM · Report this
17
@12, @14 That's what I've been saying. And so should O'Brien, whose district could pretty easily elect a similarly progressive candidate if he were to win citywide. If Sawant ran, she'd end up having to run in three elections in six years. That sounds hard, but she's a great organizer and all those campaigns could provide some momentum for her advocacy in council chambers.
Posted by exactly on December 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 18
@16

And if she doesn't, you'll prognosticate just as loudly as ever. Because what the hell, right?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on December 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 19
Can somebody post a link to where this data table is? King County supposedly released it but I can't find it at data.kingcounty.gov. Does it live at some other special place?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on December 2, 2013 at 12:56 PM · Report this
20
Let's see what she delivers. She only gets to run on the "not-Conlin" ticket once.
Posted by Westside forever on December 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM · Report this
21
@17--I'm with you.

@19 -- Canvass in various formats is here: http://kingcounty.gov/elections/currente…
Posted by TobyinFremont on December 2, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
22
@16 what this suggests is that if she runs in District 3 it will be almost impossible for her to "crash and burn" - voters there know exactly what they're getting. They either won't care that she thinks we should nationalize Boeing or will think it's a good idea. More importantly, if she delivers on a $15/hr wage, she will guarantee she gets reelected from that district.
Posted by junipero on December 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
23
Don't forget the role that Strippergate played in the elections where Nicastro and Willis were defeated. It made them look like hypocrites. This along with increases in energy prices dulled the shine. I am not sure why more Seattle residents have not questioned the rise in especially our utility bills in the last few years. It will be interesting to see what she can deliver and how she manages many different city issues.
Posted by joannac on December 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM · Report this
24
Why do all you who wonder what Sawant will do the next two years (and assume she'll "crash and burn") don't seem to care what Godden, Burgess, Rasmussen, and Clark will do the next two years? Is it because you know they'll do nothing and you figure that's better than doing something, even though we're handing them $120K/year for nothing whatsoever?
Posted by sarah70 on December 2, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Report this
Kitts 25
It's a little odd that support for the socialist is colored blue on this map, while support for the Democrat is colored red.
Posted by Kitts on December 2, 2013 at 10:21 PM · Report this
26
@24,
No, Jean Godden is going to become best friends with the new oriental girl on the council. They will enjoy afternoon tea together and scheme at how to revitalize the publicly owned Seattle Center and KeyArena.
Posted by ChefJoe on December 2, 2013 at 10:46 PM · Report this
27
@25 Yeah, where's the hammer and sickle?
Posted by Reds on December 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Ballard Pimp 28
Gawd, people, let her get sworn in before planning her demise!

I notice that she didn't carry Broadmoor. Aw, schucks!
Posted by Ballard Pimp on December 3, 2013 at 11:36 PM · Report this

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