Lucas Puente

Partisanship of My Neighborhoods

17 May 2013

Jill and I are moving this summer so I figured I should check out our new neighborhood’s partisan identity and compare that to where we live now and where we are from. Precinct-level data on presidential voting have been collected by the Stanford Spatial Social Science Lab for the 2008 election so that’s what I used (the 2012 data are still being coded).

Our current neighborhood in East Palo Alto is pretty damn liberal: out of 431 votes cast in 2008, 403 were for Obama. In other words, Obama beat McCain by 88% in our current EPA precinct. 


Our new neighborhood is the Marina district of San Francisco. While San Francisco is undisputedly one of the most liberal major cities in America, the Marina has a reputation of its own. Here’s how one blogger described it:

Beautiful, sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Boats ‘n shit if you’re into that. The apartment buildings may as well have Greek letters on them. If you aren’t good looking, weren’t in the Greek system in college and/or a billionaire, it’s going to be really hard to get laid here, and this is in no way indicative of the author’s troubles trying to do so here in his early twenties. In no way.


While that’s obviously a stereotype, I still would not have been surprised to see a more conservative tilt in the Marina relative to the rest of the city. In reality, the precinct we are moving into voted for Obama at exactly the same rate (84%) as the city as a whole


Regardless, it’s still funny that, by moving to San Francisco, we are moving into a more conservative city. That is, in 2008, 94% of East Palo Alto residents voted for Obama, a full ten percentage point difference with “the city.”

Of course, this whole being surrounded by liberals like-minded voters is pretty new to us (though we did go to college in Athens, GA an oasis of blue among a sea of red). Both of these areas are far bluer than our respective hometowns. My parents’ precinct in Wilmington, NC (where I grew up) voted pretty overwhelmingly for McCain: he had a margin of victory there of 36.8% (1,645 to 760). 


Similarly, where Jill grew up (Tyrone, GA – just south of ATL), more than three-quarters of voters went for McCain.


Check our your neighborhood’s partisanship here.