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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I'm Glad for Change but Don't Like the Map

It's probably proof enough that I don't have the killer instinct to be in politics, I always feel bad for the folks who lose elections, even when I vote or would have voted against them.

I wish Mayor Johnson and Council member Sandra Anderson Groat every happiness in whatever is next for them in their lives. I have personally appreciated Mayor Johnson's "chill" attitude, though I think that that's one factor that finally undid her. Too many rambling conversations without much apparent order. I actually LIKE watching channel 13. I hope the mayor elect can take a humble and cautious posture and not come in gunslinging.

I'm glad for change. I may have wanted just a little more but I'll take it. I just hope it ends up being a good change. We'll see.

There is one disturbing aspect to this election which Roch Smith captured on his past You Gotta Show Up...

It's not so much the low turn out that bothers me but the colors on the map.

I see a map of a city still much divided politically along socio-economic lines. Perhaps it is fair to say "along racial lines," but I am not sure if that's accurate. Maybe others can make that connection.

7 comments:

Roch101 said...

Hi Joel,

I'm glad you found that map interesting, if troubling. If I may offer some consolation, I am not sure how far I would go in drawing the conclusion that the city is racially divided and here's why. If you were to look at a similar map from the last election, when Johnson was elected as mayor, you would have seen plenty of support for her across the city. In fact, a deciding factor in her win was that she got a majority of district 4 voters.

I doubt that people across Greensboro willingly voted for a black mayor in 2007 then, in 2009 said, "You know what, I don't like black people after all."

I have little doubt that there are voters who will not vote for candidates because of their race. In this case though, Johnson lost support, in my opinion not because voters had a change of heart about her race, but because she was unresponsive or inadequately responsive to the concerns or voters.

Roch101 said...

Clarification, Johnson did not get a majority of D4 votes in 2007. What I meant to say was that the votes she got in D4 in 2007 accounted for her margin of victory. Without them, she would not have been elected.

Joel said...

I think you're right about Mayor Johnson. She had more support in the white community in the last election and it was not her race that did her in this go 'round.

But the map is still troubling to me - it says a lot - more than just about this election I think. It speaks of a divide that is there...

Roch101 said...

Sure, Joel. I don't mean to be ignorant. But remember, you are looking at a map that show gradations of turnout, not support. The choice was either a shade of green or a shade of blue.

So what you are not seeing is the degree of support for the other candidate. A precinct would be blue even if Johnson was only a few votes behind Knight.

So yeah, there is a divide, but it as not as monolithic as a strict blue or green reading of the map might indicate. There were precincts in D4, for example, where Johnson still got hundreds of votes.

Joel said...

Roch, I hear you I think. It was the differential in turn out that first caught my attention more than who won the mayoral race. It seems that the map does reveal a geographical differential that is roughly related to socio economic condition in the area. I actually did not intend to suggest so much that voters rejected Johnson because of race. Both what I like and dislike about Johnson as mayor has nothing to do with her race. But had there been MORE turnout in east Greensboro she probably would have won, don't you think? I'm not saying that that's a good thing - better she win with votes from all over. I'm just saying...

Roch101 said...

Yes, Joel, if the turnout had been as high in east Greensboro on a percentage basis as it was in west Greensboro, Johnson would have one. That also is interesting because it means that Knight did not get as much support in east Greensboro as Johnson got in west Greensboro.

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