Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A tale of two cities: voter breakdown by wards

Courtesy of the grinders at the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners: the ward-by-ward breakdown of votes in yesterday's municipal elections.

Like the ward breakdown of the March primary, it reveals what people mostly know: that we live in two cities, North and South, black and white.

On March 3 Irene J. Smith was the Democratic nominee in every majority-black North Side ward, and yesterday Maida Coleman beat the incumbent mayor in every majority-black North Side ward.

Though not one single black alderman endorsed Coleman and Slay was the official Democratic candidate, only one ward led by a black alderman – the highly diverse 6th Ward – was won by Slay yesterday, with only 55 percent of the vote.

North St. Louis resoundingly rejected Slay, despite his active support from many black aldermen, including Jeffrey Boyd, Freeman Bosley Sr., Frank Williamson, Greg Carter and April Ford Griffin.
Coleman won (by descending voter margins) the following North City Wards: 1, 21, 4, 27, 2, 18, 26, 3, 22, 5 and 19 – reflecting a growing divide between the political commitments of the black aldermen and the wishes expressed at the polls by their constituents.

This will be an interesting dynamic to follow over the next four years.

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