What Does Electoral Victory Look Like? Visualizing Buttigieg’s Win

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg cruised to victory on Tuesday night, easily defeating two-term Common Councilman Henry Davis Jr. in a 78-22 blowout.

The victory is even more impressive when broken down at the precinct level. South Bend has 85 separate precincts spread out across its various neighborhoods.

With such a lopsided outcome, one would expect the incumbent to easily roll through most of the city’s precincts — and that is exactly what happened.

Buttigieg carried 80 of the city’s 85 precincts, many by margins as wide as or wider than his citywide total.

Davis carried only 4 precincts in council district 2 — where he has served since 2008 — along with a precinct in the neighboring 6th district.

Even then, the precincts that Davis carried were close in raw vote totals.

Precinct 205 located in the Lincolnway West corridor gave Davis a five vote margin over Buttigieg, 101 to 96. Precinct 602, located between Sample and Western in the city’s southwest side, gave a 3 vote margin in favor of Davis. The largest margin for Davis was a 163 vote advantage over Buttigieg in the LaSalle Park neighborhood.

Buttigieg’s best precinct came in the Sunnymede neighborhood near IUSB (precinct 305), which gave the incumbent a nearly 300 vote margin over his opponent. Buttigieg’s support in the Sunnymede neighborhood was equal to over 96 percent of the vote.

Even with huge margins in particular neighborhoods, the key to Buttigieg’s overwhelming citywide victory was not that he racked up numbers in a handful of wealthy neighborhoods. The incumbent mayor performed well throughout the city, posting impressive margins in areas with vastly different socio-economic makeups.

On top of the precinct level wins, Buttigieg managed to carry every single one of the six Common Council districts in the city — including Henry Davis Jr.’s 2nd district by 60 votes (see map below for visualization).

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In the city clerk’s race, political newcomer Kareemah Fowler defeated long-time Common Councilman Derek Dieter in similarly decisive fashion. Fowler was endorsed by Buttigieg, appearing in a television commercial and mailers with the mayor. She also had the backing of former Indiana governor and South Bend mayor Joe Kernan and over $100,000 in campaign cash.

Fowler’s 50 point win over Dieter was truly stunning in its breadth. Even though Fowler managed a slightly lower percentage than Buttigieg citywide, Fowler performed better geographically, winning all but a single precinct. Dieter carried precinct 203 in the city’s 2nd district by a two vote margin. Ironically, the same precinct also supported Buttigieg for mayor.

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Below we have the full precinct results for both the mayoral and city clerk races:

South Bend, Indiana Municipal Primary Results by Precinct (2015)

You can find a full interactive map with street-level views here. The map uses publicly available data from the city of South Bend and St. Joseph County.

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