Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cheshire election history (1979 - 2011): District 4

If Cheshire's 1st District and 2nd District are the most GOP-leaning districts in town and the 3rd District is the swing district, then the 4th District is the Democratic-leaning district.

Of the 17 local elections I reviewed, the district election results are as follows:

1st - 5 Rs with 15 wins, 1 D with 2 wins
2nd - 5 Rs with 12 wins, 2 Ds with 5 wins
3rd - 3 Rs with 7 wins, 4 Ds with 10 wins
4th - 3 Rs with 6 wins, 4 Ds with 11 wins

I know these elections are a relatively small part of all of our elections. But this same trend goes far beyond Council District elections. I believe it's a good indicator of how the districts tend to vote in other elections, such as Council at-large, as well as state and federal elections.

And here's the trend line of election results for the 4th District, including "blank" votes:In this period, there have been three elections in which the winner failed to break the 50% margin. But it's highly unlikely that in either the 1983 or 2001 races, that if the blank votes had been cast for a candidate, then the race would have broken differently.

On the other hand, many of you will remember the 2011 race. After an initial tie at 797 votes each, a recount was performed and two "voice" votes were discovered. So the election was decided by a two vote margin, but there were 74 blank votes. This was the closest Council District election from 1979 to 2011... though I think one Council at-large seat was also decided by two votes in the early 1980s.

And the actual results for the past 17 elections in the 4th District are: For a complete -- and largely accurate, though unaudited -- history of Council District election results from 1979 to 2011, click here.

Tim White

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