As you know by now, Charlie Baker was narrowly elected to be the next governor of Massachusetts on Tuesday. Although he lost the city of Boston by a wide margin to Martha Coakley, Baker did perform better than in 2010 against incumbent Deval Patrick, and managed to win a majority of votes in 29 Boston precincts, according to unofficial results. Here’s a simple binary map of precincts won by Coakley (blue) and Baker (red).
A more fun (if not especially useful) way to visualize election results at the city level is to plot a point for every single vote cast, as we did in 2012 for the presidential election, in the style of people like our friends Kirk Goldsberry and John Nelson. It provides a sense of where votes come from, as well as a truer sense of partisan patterns than the more common starkly delineated choropleth maps.
The map isn’t especially surprising, especially when compared with a race/ethnicity map again. Baker’s best support is seen in predominately white parts of Boston. He carried most of South Boston, for example. Meanwhile Coakley had a good showing in large swaths of the city, perhaps a bit more independent of demographic patterns. (I wanted to include Cambridge in this map like we did in 2012, but the detailed data weren’t available yet, and anyway it’s Cambridge—it would all be blue.)
As always, don’t take dot locations to mean precise voter locations. They are randomly placed, and while unpopulated areas have been removed from precincts, the clipping isn’t perfect, so you’ll probably see a few dots where obviously nobody lives. Even so, it’s nice to make a map that represents everyone, especially when we’re talking about a democratic process. It reminds us that everyone’s individual votes add up to something… plus it looks kind of cool.
If anyone is interested in this data, the city publishes it in a less-than-useful PDF format. To make these maps I had loads of fun for a couple hours copying numbers into a more useful format. Perhaps you’ll enjoy the resulting CSV file of unofficial Boston precinct totals in the gubernatorial election. Precinct shapes can be found here.