I just got 2016 Clinton vs. Trump election results for Salem from someone who, as with the 2012 Obama vs. Romney results, shall be known as a "fellow political junkie."
There's some positive news for us local liberals/progressives in this Age of Trump. In Salem we're getting increasingly stronger!
Here's the overall result -- arrived at by aggregating vote tallies by precinct to get ward totals, which, when summed, provides a result for Salem. Clinton crushed Trump by 11%.
By comparison, Obama beat Romney by almost as much, 10%. Note the disparity in the major party percentages: 87% in 2016, 96% in 2012. Third party candidates (Stein & Johnson), write-ins, and undervotes got considerably more votes in 2016. (An undervote means someone didn't cast a vote for president.)
For me, this is the most encouraging chart. Clinton beat Trump in every ward, even in the most conservative parts of town -- south Salem and west Salem. See the ward map below.
Yes, the Clinton margin in Ward 4 was very small, just 20 votes. But still... in Ward 4, as everywhere else in town, the liberal presidential candidate beat the conservative candidate.
Here's the 2012 comparison. Romney beat Obama in wards 4 and 8. Remember: the overall margin of victory for Clinton and Obama in Salem was about the same. The difference in 2016 is that the most conservative parts of town turned more liberal.
My fellow political junkie sent along this observation:
A highlight - Hillary won Ward 8 (West Salem) by 4%! (In 2012 Obama lost Ward 8 by 2%.) West Salem has been moving in a progressive direction in recent years, generally faster than other parts of Salem. This result is more evidence that the trend is continuing. West Salem used to be a conservative Republican bedrock. Now it is more of a swing area.
Lastly, here's a comparison of how Salem voted in the 2016 presidential election compared to Marion County, Polk County, and Oregon as a whole. Salem was right in line with the entire state -- Clinton country! Marion and Polk counties went for Trump by a fairly wide margin.
(Salem comprises about half of the Marion County population, so given Salem's decidedly liberal leaning, the election results above show that the rest of Marion County is really conservative.)
Here's the 2012 comparison.
Pretty similar, though in 2012 the Salem margin of victory for Obama was three points under the Oregon margin. In 2016, as noted above, the Salem and Oregon margins in favor of Clinton were exactly the same. So this also points to Salem becoming more liberal during the past four years.
I'll end with how I concluded my previous post about the 2012 election results, "Salem, Oregon is more liberal than most people think."
So Salem is more liberal/progressive than many people give the city credit for.
If Salemians voted for local officials such as the Mayor and City Councilors in the same political fashion as they voted in the last presidential election, this town would have a much more liberal-leaning city government than it does now.
I can only hope... for 2016.
Well, in 2016 Salem elected three new progressive city councilors who will take office in 2017: Cara Kaser, Sally Cook, Matt Ausec. (Conservative city councilor Brad Nanke ran opposed.) Only in the Mayoral election did the more conservative candidate, Chuck Bennett, win out over the more progressive candidate, Carole Smith.
Thus my hope mostly came true. Which leads me to say with even more confidence:
I can only hope... for 2018.
Which will feature another mayoral race, and races for four city council seats -- two of which currently are held by conservatives: Steve McCoid and Jim Lewis. One of the two remaining seats is held by progressive Tom Andersen, and the other will be filled in March 2017 in a special election necessitated by the resignation of Daniel Benjamin.
Thanks to you and your "fellow political junkie" (many of us know who she is) for this great analysis. The next four years is going to be bad news at the Federal level, but we can direct our energies and advocacy to make Salem a more livable and resilient place, while waiting for Trumpismo to crash and burn.
Posted by: Jim Scheppke | December 11, 2016 at 07:21 AM