Early stats on WA Aug2020 primary

Votes in Washington State’s primary earlier this week are still being counted, but here are some results so far [as of 8/6/2020]. Data here is publicly available from the Secretary of State.

Turnout was around 37%, which is up from 34% in 2016.   

There was a competitive field of GOP candidates running against a 2-term incumbent Democrat. Here were the results of the top vote getters. The top 2 (Inslee and Culp) will go on to the general.


Here’s is a further breakdown of GOP candidates per county. Circle size is weighted per county population.


Here’s the combined Democrat (Blue) vs. Combined Republican (Red).




LD 45 Turnout Statistics

The special election for the 45th district senate seat is Nov 7th 2017, just a few days away. Here are some statistics based on the ballot returns reported by the Secretary of State.

 The district is about 92,000 voters. Overall turnout as of Nov 4th is 21.3%. This is the highest turnout for an election district over 30,000 voters.

King County turnout  overall is 15.4%.  For comparison to other off-year legislative elections, Teri Hickel’s ’15 special election was 35%.


There has been significant new voter registration in the district since Andy Hill’s ’14 election victory. Here is a breakdown registration date:

% of district … registered since…
2% Since ’17 Primary
6% Within last year
21% Since Nov ’14

It’s a predominantly Democrat district.  In ‘14 and ’16 house races, Democrat’s average victory in LD 45 has been around 58%.  The district also voted over a 2:1 for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Kim Wyman and Andy Hill are the only Republicans to have won this district.

The SOS does not report on the actual ballot results until election night, but we can use the Voter-Science party id database [1] to see how results are looking prior to election day.

 Here is a heat map of Democrat turnout (left) vs. GOP turnout (right) in the 45th :


Of Voters identified as GOP, 28% have voted. Of voters identified as Democrats, 23% have voted.  Of voters identified as Independents, only 14% have voted.  So while the democrats may have raw volume of numbers, the GOP has driven higher turnout amongst their base.  

 [1] The Voter-Science party ID database has a party ID for 87% of the individuals in the 45th district and has accurately predicted all 45th races within 98.5% accuracy since 2015.

Measuring the Trump Effect (Updated 11/15)

One of the most contentious elections in U.S. history is over and Donald J. Trump will be our next president.    Although Trump’s victory was moderately large in terms of the electoral vote, the closeness of the popular vote will prompt questions for Republicans moving forward, particularly in “blue” states such as Washington.  Just how did Trump do with Independent and soft Democrat voters in Washington state with whom Trump, though a polarizing figure, polled somewhat well since the early this year?


The question we wanted to answer was, “What exactly was the impact of Trump on Washington state races?”


Voter Science undertook a statistical modeling analysis of the early return data to assess Trump’s effect on local and statewide races.  We used data from ballot returns through Nov. 11th (with the understanding that final certified results will not be available for another several days).  Our statistical modeling utilized regression modeling using the form:


Legislative district race results were modeled using Trump/Pence performance and other factors as predictors.  Performance deltas to Romney/Ryan 2012 were factored in to determine the detriment or improvement a legislative candidate received this cycle, what we’re calling the Trump Effect.


In general, we found that the Trump Effect amplified pre-existing voter preferences, giving Republican candidates a lift in predominantly “red” areas while dragging them down in places that would otherwise have been more likely to be closely contested.

Trump’s Impact on State Legislative Races: Tailwind or Drag?

For state legislative candidates, the Trump Effect depended largely on where you were.

The Trump Effect produced a “Trump Tailwind” for Republican legislative candidates in primarily Eastern and Southwest Washington.  The effect was particularly strong in Southwest Washington counties; Republican legislative candidates there received an average 5 to 6-point lift.

However, the Trump Effect was a net negative – “Trump Drag” – in many of Washington’s most populous counties, primarily those touching Interstate 5.  The Trump Drag was most evident in King County where the effect of the presidential ticket was to subtract an average of 5.2% from Republican legislative candidates.

Table 1: Net Impact of Trump Effect on Legislative Races (select counties updated 11/15)





Figure 1: Net Impact of Trump Effect on Legislative Races by County


The impact on legislative races was stark in some cases:

Table 2: Trump Effect Impact Select Races 

As of 11/10/16, Republicans running in King County have racked up four losses.  Even in the deeply red 5th Legislative District, there was a point at which all three seats were at risk, and although the two state House positions are currently leaning R in terms of returns, and the state Senate race is currently a loss but trending toward a possible late Republican win, our modeling predicted the margin should have been decisive at this point where it not for Trump Drag.

The 30th LD, where the Republican party worked so hard in 2015, has seen two star incumbents removed.  State Senator Steve Litzow in the 41st ran to a tie in the primary but lost by more than five points in the general.  Again, our predictive modeling indicated that Litzow should won handily; Trump Drag pulled roughly 3,800 votes from the R column in that race.

Statewide Races

Statewide Republican candidates suffered because of Trump Drag.  Overall losses to statewide candidates ran between 2 to 3 points and effectively made the races for Lands Commissioner and Auditor uncompetitive.  Were it not for the Trump Effect, both races would have been within 1 percentage points.

Table 3: Trump Effect Impact on Statewide Candidates


Depending on the race, the Trump Effect sliced off 50,000 to 70,000 votes from each of our key races.  Only Kim Wyman, the incumbent Secretary of State, fared better than the remaining slate of Republican candidates.

As with state legislative races, statewide candidates took the biggest hit in King County, a particularly rough Trump Effect because the county accounted for approximately two-thirds of the lost votes across all candidates.

Figure 2: Trump/Pence Performance as of Nov 12th




Although many Republicans are celebrating Trump’s presidential victory, it is important to recognize this Trump Effect and what it says about the electorate here in Washington state.  A deep divide persists among Washingtonians that represents a major challenge moving forward.  How do Republicans reconnect with Independent and more conservative Democrats who have at times walked across party lines to vote for Republican candidates.  There is fertile opportunity to engage with these voters outside of the traditional social justice spectrum.  The final part of our challenge is identifying the hot button issues that these voters care about that have alignment with conservative values.


WA Voting Turnout Statistics

In WA state, voter turnout is at 52% [As 11/7/16].  A further breakdown shows Democrats are enjoying significant turnout advantage: Seattle turnout is at 58% whereas Yakima County turnout is 43%. Seattle is a traditional litmus test  for Democrat turnout, whereas Yakima County is a traditional litmus test for Republican turnout, especially in eastern Washington.

Low GOP turnout in eastern WA was a large factor in Rob McKenna’s 2012 loss. The above data is from the Secretary of State and County auditors. We can draw additional insights by join that with party identification scores [1].

Continue reading “WA Voting Turnout Statistics”

Ballot Chase!

Washington State is a vote-by-mail state and voters have about 3 weeks before the election to mail in their ballots.  Voter-Science tracks the ballots that are received and provides several tools to aide in your Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts.

1) The GOTV Reports

Voter-Science provides GOTV reports – see the Turnout Report  plugin. Note – your account must be enabled for Ballot chase in order for this to plugin to work.

This report includes useful information like:

  • voter turnout statistics
  • breakdowns by party and targets
  • breakdown by result of canvassing
  • identified supporters that haven’t yet voted
  • pre-precinct breakdowns
  • and even heat maps of turnout:


2) Names are crossed off in the List View

For example, in the screen shot below, Nancy and Marvin have already voted and so their names have been automatically crossed off.


This is critical for get-out-the-vote: if somebody has already cast their ballot, no need to contact them further for gotv.

3) Mobile app tells you the ballot received

The mobile apps will tell you the ballot is received

4) Usage with Filters  

Ballots are tracked by creating a new “XVoted” column in your sheet.  It’s a ‘1’ if the ballot has been received. You can also use the Filter tool to filter on XVoted just like any other column and use that to create custom heat maps (Supporters that haven’t voted) or specific child sheets.

For map users, a common “Targeted voters” filter is “IsFalse(XVoted) && IsTrue(XTargetPri)”.   This means “only include people whose ballot is not yet received and who are on the targeted list”. 


Technical details

There is some delay between when a person puts their ballot into the mail, it’s received by the county auditor, and the auditor reports having received it. This is tracked per-county, and counties report at different speeds.  This means that if you see a name crossed off, you can be confident the ballot was received.