Sunday, November 13, 2011

Castro's Top Vote-Getter: Avalos;
Dufty was 4th in Gay District

This electoral analysis in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle makes me wonder how District 8 voters, who twice elected out and moderate Bevan Dufty to serve on the Board of Supervisors but in 2010 selected out and conservative (by SF standards), Scott Wiener to be the new Supervisor, voted overwhelmingly for straight and progress Supervisor John Avalos on Tuesday.

Dufty has not been out of office a full-year, and I'm surprised he did so poorly in his own district. At the same time, Wiener backed Herrera and it didn't seem to have a big impact on Castro voters deciding who was their top mayoral pick.

Quite a bit of political swinging - from the center then more to the right ending at the very left of the spectrum.

There's also the matter of straight and center Dennis Herrera, the City Attorney who's quite pro-gay marriage and stress that in his campaign, coming in third in the Castro. Raises the question of why more gay voters didn't pick the candidate with the best track record on gay marriage.

Are they more concerned with affordable housing, standing up to Big Banking and taxing the wealthy, key Avalos issues, than with gay marriage as a reason to vote for someone?

From the Chron:

In the vote-rich Castro and Upper Market neighborhoods, the traditional power center of the city's gay community, Avalos came out on top, followed by Lee.

Herrera, whose office has been waging a vigorous legal battle on behalf of the city advocating for same-sex marriage rights, placed third.

Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, the only major gay mayoral candidate who served as the district's representative for eight years, came in fourth there - an outcome that offered one of the few surprises in the analysis of how neighborhoods voted.


Kurt Brown said...

"Surprises" are usually because of implicit assumptions that are shaky or outright wrong. For example, it could be that the "surprises" in this post depend on the following implicit assumptions:

o That the Castro demographics is still predominantly GBLT (a walk thru the neighborhood on Friday and Saturday nites, and certainly during Sunday brunch could cast some anecdotal doubts on that assumption).

o That the Castro demographics exert a strong influence on District 8 demographics.

o That the District 8 demographics are correlated with the demographics of people in District 8 who actually vote.

o That GBLT voters are predominately influenced by Prop 8 and marriage-related issues.

o That GBLT (or District 8) voters can be easily (and rather statically) categorized as "left", "center", or "right" by extrapolating from the last successful candidate in the district.

All these assumptions (and a few more that I probably missed) might cause the election results to be a "surprise" but in reality, it's the persistence of such underlying assumptions that should be a surprise.

Michael said...


thanks for piping with your views. gotta admit there is some validity to what you're saying. color me, um, surprised i like how your challenge my assumptions!

looking forward to more analysis in the coming days about the overall SF gay vote and the castro and district vote totals.

Kurt Brown said...

And thank you for supplying the results!

I'd include a cute picture of a hedgehog taking a bath as a token of my appreciation, but Google doesn't allow it.