Retrospective: DC Election 2012

November 1, 2016


With the 2016 election right around the corner or as comedian John Oliver calls it the “Lady Liberty Convenience Store Robbery Gone Wrong Descending into a Hostage Situation and now she’s demanding a chopper… 2016” (among other great titles, compilation here), it’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind.  Amidst all of the crazy comments, email scandals, non-profit investigations (see more here) one of the saner and wiser members of our staff (Thanks Amir) thought this would be a good time to look at something other than polling numbers, SNL skits, and articles about controversy (note: no links for that one as there would simply be too many to count).  We searched the web for DC election related data, stripped of the typical sensation and commercial entertainment. This search led us to Ballotpedia, more specifically the results for DC’s 2012 votes provided by the DC Board of Elections.  After playing with lots of data exports and enjoying some of DCs finer coffee establishments, we focused on an often overlooked vantage point: DCs voting break down, by Ward.


The first thing the Ninja team did was compile and break down the number of election areas and grouped them by Ward.  This allowed us to better understand the voting in terms that could be relayed to our readers.



This first graphic breaks down the total number of registered voters per ward and compares that to the total votes tallied (including special and absentee ballots).  Based on reviewing this information we can see that by percentage Ward 8 had the lowest voter turn out as determined by percent of registered votes counted, followed by Ward 5 and Ward 1. The highest voter turn out was in Ward 3 followed by Ward 6.


Additionally we reviewed early, absentee and election day voting patterns as outlined in the table below:



Here we see that Ward 5 and Ward 4 took the most advantage of early voting while Ward 2 had the highest Absentee Vote count by far.  It is also interesting to note that Wards 7 and 8 had relatively low early voting turn out, which is interesting because Early Voting is largely an accommodation with the stated purpose of giving more flexibility to those with fewer transportation options, something frequently associated with the demographics of residents in Ward 7 and Ward 8.


Then we looked more towards which vote was cast for which presidential candidate, versus that of voting time.  It is no surprise that DC is a very liberal place which will cast its 3 electoral votes for the democratic nominee.  However, what is more interesting is to see which wards were more conservative.



These two images show that Wards 3 and Ward 6 have the strongest conservative ties with Ward 7 and Ward 8 having the decidedly “least conservative” voting population (as determined by presidential candidate choice) with only 324 and 237 votes in each ward being cast for Mitt Romney respectively.


To get a closer look at the votes for President Obama, the map below shows the particular voting districts and associated total votes.  It is interesting to see some of the lighter areas in the upper class Ward 3 neighborhood despite the Wards clear and obvious Democrat vote


And finally, to study the DC’s minority political party. We have a closer look at the votes for Mitt Romney.


 Even though Wards 3 and 4 were decidedly democrat, it is interesting to note the darker shading along most of the Maryland border (other than Silver Sprint and Takoma Park)


It is all but certain that DC will vote for Hilary Clinton but the specific breakdowns will be interesting to review. Will Ward 8 fully reject Donald Trump the way they did Mitt Romney? Will Ward 3 remain the concentrated republican voting area of DC in 2016?


Stay tuned and we will let you know as the data becomes available!!


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