Triangulating Outcomes

Source: St. Louis City Planning
Sources: City of St. Louis Board of Elections

Column-
1: Wards
2: Republican Governor’s Vote- 2016
3: Lewis Reed’s vote in the 2013 Mayor’s race
4: Francis Slay’s vote in the 2013 Mayor’s Race
5: Mayor’s Race vote total between Reed and Slay
6: Slay’s vote minus Reed’s vote in the Mayor’s Race
7: Reed’s Vote in the BOA President race
8: Nasheed’s Vote in the BOA President race
9: Green’s Vote in the BOA President race
10: Total Vote in the BOA President race
11: Mayor’s Race Total Vote Minus BOA President Total Vote

The 2019 President of the Board of Alderman race is exactly what the Democratic Party needed at this time in St. Louis. A three-way race between a black male and white and black females shows exactly where the splits are in St. Louis. And there’s a good chance we can extrapolate this information to show the same veins in the county.

The table above tells a hell of a tale on that race. The first column of Republican voters for governor. You may be asking why I would include something like that in a primary race for the Democratic nomination. The answer is to show there are republicans that turn out. But when it comes to the mayor and BOA president race these Republicans vote Democrat. Sure, not all of them. But a lot do. And even if it’s only half, that’s enough to win in yesterday’s race.

Reed demonstrates this by winning four wards where there is significant Republican voting.

I include the results from the mayor’s race to show the old guard outcomes. It appears that Reed has taken control of most of that Republican vote to maintain control of the BOA. However, his performance is not as good against progressive females in Democratic precincts. In other words, the conservative Slay coalition has switch over to Reed and the Reed coalition largely split between Nasheed and Green on racial lines, based on racial mixes of wards. The city of St. Louis machine is in flux.

Reed maintained a relatively stable vote per ward garnering no less than 200 votes in all but 2 wards, while winning only 5. Nasheed won 13 and Green took 10. Most wards way under performed compared to the mayor’s race, which is to be expected when issues like less money come into play. One report pegged the total spending at $1m. But Green pushed 3 wards to increase their vote in the BOA race and Nasheed and Reed each pushed one.

Each candidate’s outcome is interesting by what it tells us of St. Louis at this time. In the context that all incumbent aldermen won their races we would expect Reed to coast to victory. And he may have coasted. Green looked to solidify her progressive base, but lost African American support to Nasheed, who ultimately saw neither she or Green could win a three-way race and publicly asked for a sit down with Green.

The problem there is that Nasheed and Green were fighting for the hearts of activists and Reed fought for the heart of the city- a centrist leader versus two liberals.

The mechanics of this race are peculiar. Looking at the first five wards, which are largely Black wards, Reed lost to Nasheed almost 2:1. He was closing in on 3:1 against Slay in the mayor’s race. That’s a big flip in the other direction for him. Notwithstanding the decline in turnout, Reed should be concerned with what comes next for him.

But, if it is the case that the progressives can now run the town it appears that Nasheed and Green should sit down to decide what that means and how they should run it

For the progressives, they now have a treasure trove of data to resolve. When the precinct data comes out they will be able to triangulate what comes next with a clear vision.

But, they have to ask themselves if this vision is shared or if it is mutually exclusive.


About the Author Jonathan Boesch

Hello everyone, I'm Jonathan Boesch from St. Louis, MO. In the past two decades, I have enjoyed bouncing back and forth between political and hospitality gigs. I have been a line cook and a bartender who put together an award-winning menu. And, I have have been a public policy advisor and field organizer to many successful projects. I look forward to this being an excellent forum for constructive conversation. All content is written by me and reflects my opinions. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of anyone associated with me, including those who I work on behalf. In this space, we will follow a model where I discuss issues of politics and policy. And then address similar problems in the hospitality industry. This includes the entire supply chain of hospitality as an economic ecosystem. Finally, each week I will analyse topics and present other views. I hope to make each discussion relevant to not only your life but to broader concept and debates raging today.

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