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Understanding St. Louis: Democratic Mayoral Primary Results – 2017

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28th Ward Alderwoman Lyda Krewson is likely to be the next mayor of the City of St. Louis. She would be the city’s first new mayor in 16 years, following the record four-term run on Francis Slay. She would also be the first woman mayor in the city’s 253-year history.

With a deep field of legitimate contenders, untangling the path to victory is more difficult than the 2013 two-up contest between Slay and President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed. The total margin of victory for Krewson was just 888 votes. Vote totals: Krewson 17,110 / Jones 16,222 / Reed 9,775 / French 8,460 / Boyd 1,429.

In 2013, Slay earned 23,968 votes to Reed’s 19,496, a margin of 4,472 and just more than 10%. In that contest, Slay reached nearly 70% of total votes in a dozen wards (Read: Understanding St. Louis: Democratic Mayoral Primary Results – 2013). Turnout was recorded as 22.08%. 2017 voter turnout was 28.36%, a 28% increase.

Notes on election results, and maps by NEXT STL and Paul Fehler (click images to enlarge):

Victor Lyda Krewson topped 50% of the vote in just four of the city’s 28 wards. That may not sound impressive, but among the next three challengers, who split 64.53% of the vote, that number was reached just once in 84 opportunities. City Treasurer Tishaura Jones garnered 53.38% of the 15th Ward ballots.

President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed was the top vote getter in five wards: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 19th, and 27th, reaching his highest percentage of 34.77% in the 4th. 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French won just one ward, his own (a seat he is set to vacate), with 36.65% of the vote there.

The lopsidedness of votes is fairly drastic. Krewson’s percent of votes by ward ranges from 64.83% (16th) to 4.12% (22nd). There were six wards where Krewson failed to gain more than 6.5% of the vote, and six more where she failed to reach 20%. The spread for Jones is from 53.38% (15th) to 12.05% (16th). Reed and French, who trailed by significant margins, each earned less than 10% in just three wards.

There are plenty of “what-ifs” in a close election, but if we look at Krewson v. Not Krewson (Jones+Reed+French)? Krewson wins just five wards and loses 13 by more than a 50% margin. Krewson and Jones split wards with the highest voter turnout, each winning five of the top 10 wards by voter participation.

Jones beat Krewson in 18 of the city’s 28 wards. Krewson key to victory was dominating the 12th, 16th, 23th, and 28th Wards, piling up a margin of 4,696 votes. By contrast, Jones’s best four wards provided a 2,153 margin over Krewson. In those wards, Reed and French grabbed 2,943 total votes.


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  • Pingback: Understanding St. Louis: 2017 Democratic Mayoral Primary Results by Precinct - ACCELACOMM()

  • STL Resident Constituent

    Democratic mayors have not had a successful track record for our city in terms of prosperity, business growth, innovation, public safety, and law and order. I hope things can turn around for the better.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Republicans in the statehouse have not had a successful track record for our state’s rural areas in terms of prosperity, business growth, innovation, public safety, and law and order. I hope things can turn around for the better.

      • STL Resident Constituent

        It was not intended to be a partisan comment. I hope for prosperity and progress across party lines. Our state and local governments need support regardless of who is in office at a particular time.

        STL does not have a solid track record, and the fact is that there has been a long history of democratic mayoral leadership in STL. We’ve had Democrats in the statehouse too. Rural areas would need to be evaluated on a case by case basis, and rural areas in general are intrinsicly different than America’s urban cities.

      • HawkSTL

        Jeff City is a scary place. But, to be fair, the Republicans have not had control of the governorship, the state House, and state Senate at one time for a long time. The City, by contrast, has been in total Democratic control for 75 years. So, if we’re casting generalizations, the comparison does not hold.

      • beisboler

        The comment didn’t warrant derision. If there’s an inability or unwillingness to absorb these facts, then how are we to expect improvement?

        • Adam

          Not seeing how it’s derisive. Seems to me Alex was just pointing out that Republican leadership hasn’t fared well either and doesn’t guarantee success.

          • HawkSTL

            I don’t know — it looks like people are simply retreating to their usual political corners. Not helpful.

    • JH

      It easy to claim something is or is not successful, it’s much harder to provide evidence for the claim. Most cannot even define “success “, which is much harder in this context. What does even success look like, in your opinion?

      We live in a hyperpolarized era, IMO, the only way to fix that is by everyone providing hard, concrete evidence to any claim.

  • Guest

    Interesting. LIke the color maps.