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Analyzing Phil Mendelson's runaway victory

Let's turn now to the Democratic primary race for the at-large D.C. Council seat.

For the second election cycle in a row, Phil Mendelson won the most votes of any Democrat running for local office -- outpolling mayoral winner Vince Gray and chairman winner Kwame Brown and winning every ward in the process. But Michael D. Brown won isolated precincts -- 11 of 143 to be exact, all in wards 5, 7 and 8. Clark Ray, who ran an energetic year-long campaign, never developed a base and did no better than 20 percent in any precinct.


In other news, name confusion between Michael D. Brown and current D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown seems to have been an issue. A few weeks ago, Kyle Dropp in the Post's polling unit ran a correlation between the Post's polling numbers and Michael A. Brown's general election performance in 2008. I did the same thing with the numbers from Michael D.'s primary numbers. A strong positive correlation persists -- in other words, precincts and wards that voted for Michael A. Brown in 2008 tended to favor Michael D. Brown by similar proportions this time:


Was Mendelson vulnerable to a challenger after three terms in office, as Ray had believed? Apparently not. Brown and Ray combined mustered no better than 36 percent of the vote. Only in Ward 8, the second-lowest-voting ward, did Mendelson dip under 50 percent. But his overwhelming strength in the western wards more than made up for it. If you're going to come at Mendo, you'd best have a base -- and something more than a familiar name.

Mendelson's best precincts:

  1. Precinct 130, Lutheran Church of the Reformation (West Capitol Hill, Ward 6) -- 83.0 percent
  2. Precinct 34, Edmund Burke School (North Cleveland Park/Van Ness, Ward 3) -- 82.1 percent
  3. Precinct 27, Eaton School (Cleveland Park, Ward 3) -- 81.7 percent
  4. Precinct 25, Goodwill Baptist Church (West Adams Morgan, Ward 1) -- 81.7 percent
  5. Precinct 12, St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral Church (Massachusetts Heights/Cathedral Heights, Ward 3) -- 81.4 percent

Brown's best precincts:

  1. Precinct 117, Douglass Community Recreation Center (Douglass, Ward 8) -- 53.3 percent
  2. Precinct 76, Bethesda Baptist Church (Ivy City, Ward 5) -- 53.2 percent
  3. Precinct 100, Thomas Elementary School (Parkside, Ward 7) -- 52.0 percent
  4. Precinct 134, Allen AME Church (Naylor Gardens, Ward 7) -- 51.4 percent
  5. Precinct 119, Birney Elementary School (Barry Farm/St. Elizabeths, Ward 8) -- 50.0 percent

Ray's best precincts:

  1. Precinct 19, Dunbar Senior High School (East Shaw/Bloomingdale, Ward 5) -- 19.8 percent
  2. Precinct 29, Second District Police Station (West Cleveland Park/McLean Gardens, Ward 3) -- 17.2 percent
  3. Precinct 131, Van Ness Elementary School (Southeast Waterfront, Ward 6) -- 16.9 percent
  4. Precinct 55, Barnard Elementary School (Petworth/Brightwood Park, Ward 4) -- 15.5 percent
  5. Precinct 16, Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church (East Dupont/Logan Circle, Ward 2) -- 14.7 percent

By Mike DeBonis  | September 24, 2010; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  DCision 2010, Phil Mendelson, The District  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Picking apart the D.C. chairman's race
Next: DeMorning DeBonis: Sept. 27, 2010


Way to go Phil! Phil deserves this because he had the courage to stand up to Fenty when all the other politicians were still drining the Fenty coolaide!

Posted by: tacard1 | September 25, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

It's always interesting to see Phil do so well at the polls, yet he always fields a challenge. Why would anyone thing this guy would be weak competition is beyond me at this point, if he runs in '14 a bet another person tries for his seat.

Posted by: AJordanMBA | September 27, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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