Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Election By the Numbers: East End

I only do the East End, because I'm one of those damned effete East End mocha yuppies. But here it goes...

Luke's victory in Wards 1-15 relied heavily on (surprise) Old People! Straight Democratic Voters accounted for 55% of his total take East of the Point.
  • TOTAL VOTES WARD 1-15: 36,235 (100%)
  • TOTAL STRAIGHT D 1-15: 11,480 (32% of all Votes Cast)
  • TOTAL RAVENSTAHL 1-15: 20,791 (57% of all Votes Cast)
  • TOTAL DESANTIS 1-15: 13,510 (37% of all Votes Cast)
If that's not depressing enough, consider this. DeSantis barely won his 'strongholds' in Ward 7. Not that it really matters when Ward 7, with turnout at 25%, was less than 7% of the votes cast in the East End.
  • TOTAL VOTES WARD 7: 2,521
  • TOTAL STRAIGHT D 7: 388 (16% of all Votes Cast in 7)
  • TOTAL RAVENSTAHL 7: 889 (37% of all Votes Cast in 7)
  • TOTAL DESANTIS 7: 1,508 (58% of all Votes Cast in 7)
All the fluff about Ward 7 being a voter powerhouse is shit. Two hundred more votes were cast in the 12th Ward Ghetto (Lincoln Larimer), and twice as many votes were cast in the 11th Ward, (Highland Park / East Liberty). Shadyside is a transient neighborhood where college students and short-term homeowners don't bother voting: A Gap and a Coffee Tree Roaster does not a neighborhood make.

The 14th Ward left us equally disappointed. Voter turnout, at 39%, was better than average; and as usual, the 14th Ward produced 1/3 of all votes cast in the East End. However, the breakout wasn't overwhelming for DeSantis.
  • TOTAL VOTES WARD 14: 9,965
  • TOTAL STRAIGHT D 14: 1,485 (16% of all Votes Cast in 14)
  • TOTAL RAVENSTAHL 14: 3,808 (38% of all Votes Cast in 14)
  • TOTAL DESANTIS 14: 5,613 (56% of all Votes Cast in 14)
Though its easy to be disgusted like CapitolMan, it is important to note that the key ingredients to Ravenstahl's victory in the East End are those most at risk demographically. Ravenstahl was heavily reliant on poor, ill-educated, old, rag-tag neighborhoods to secure his victory. The Straight D was absolutely critical to his success.

Those people are dying off, and fast. Meanwhile, neighborhoods like Squirrel Hill and Highland Park, where DeSantis did well, continue to grow. One need only note the electoral victories of Pat Dowd and Bruce Kraus, and the continued defection of all of Homewood, Lincoln Larimer, etc. into Penn Hills, to read the writing on the wall. A Republican may not win, but as DeSantis said, a solid 1/3 of Pittsburghers are demanding change.

Ravenstahl will likely outlive the machine that brought him to power; and thus his utility as a politician. Ask Len Bodack how that feels.


CapitolMAN said...

Tides are turning, albeit slowly. Challengers should be extremely disheartened that DeSantis failed to break 40%. If he had - and given his positions on residency and regionalism I'm not surprised he received only 35% - there may have been an impetus for change in 2009.

I think its going to get worse before its better. Growth in the east end is comprised of single professionals and empty nesters. Population loss elsewhere in the city is made up of blue-collar families. It's going to take 25 years for addition-by-subtraction to change Pittsburgh's political scene.

Government Issue said...

Speaking as an outside observer, I think DeSantis's past life as a scientific advisor may have hurt his chances with your city's superstitious nut jobs and unreconstructed shitheels.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah, numbers, blah, blah, blah, cynical joke, more numbers, blah, blah, hubris, blah, repeat....