2023 Bloomington Democratic Party Primary: Mapping out the mayoral results

It’s no longer breaking news that Kerry Thomson won the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor of Bloomington in Tuesday’s election.

Bloomington 2023 Mayoral Primary. Kerry Thomson’s Percentage of the Vote by Precinct. The image links to a dynamic version of the map. Data for all candidates can be downloaded via the dynamic map.

Thomson’s 3,444 votes gave her about 43 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent (2,644) for Susan Sandberg and 24 percent (1,924) for Don Griffin.

The county clerk’s office has now released the precinct-by-precinct totals. Thomson won 30 of the city’s 47 precincts. Sandberg won 6 of them, and Griffin won 9.

Who won the remaining two precincts?

In Richland 09, not one of the 13 registered voters participated in the primary, so it was a three-way tie at zero.

In Perry 15, which includes an older central Bloomington neighborhood northeast of Bryan Park, Thomson and Sandberg tied with 105 votes apiece. Griffin tallied 32 votes in Perry 15.

Those totals are all unofficial. The results won’t become final until provisional ballots have been adjudicated by the election board. Adjudication of provision ballots is scheduled for next Friday, May 12.

In 9 of the precincts that Thomson won, she got more than half the vote. In three precincts, Griffin had a majority of the votes.

Sandberg had the majority of votes in one precinct—she received the single vote cast in Bloomington 07, where 1,104 registered voters live. It’s an Indiana University north campus area that includes several Greek houses.

For this article, The B Square built two kinds of map.

One kind is a differential plot, showing the difference between a candidate’s percentage of the vote and whichever other candidate’s percentage was higher. The other kind of map shows the percentage of the vote for the candidate.

But the small number of votes that were cast in some of the campus area precincts makes standard choropleth maps—like those The B Square has built for this article—a bit misleading.

On a map where areas are shaded based on the percentage of votes, the 100 percent of the one vote that Sandberg received in Bloomington 07 over-represents the amount of support Sandberg received there.

In the same way, some campus precincts won decisively by Griffin—Bloomington 05, Bloomington 04, and Bloomington 18—had very small numbers of voters. The total vote for all candidates across all three of those precincts was just 29.

Griffin also won a couple of precincts that had a couple hundred voters turn out—but they were close enough that discernment of the green color on Griffin’s  differential map requires squinting.  In Perry 01, Griffin received 90 votes, compared to 69 for Thomson and 62 for Sandberg. In Bloomington 06, Griffin received 109 votes compared to 100 for Thomson and 102 for Sandberg.

Except for Bloomington 07, the precincts won by Sandberg were by narrow enough margins that the pink is barely discernible on Sandberg’s differential map. For example, in Bloomington 13, Sandberg received 139 votes, compared to Thomson’s 125, and Griffin’s 27.

Still there are a couple of general trends that are evident across the city, based on other precincts that had bigger numbers of voters.

One is the relatively high level of support Thomson enjoyed in the southeast of the city. A second general discenerable trend is that Griffin enjoyed more support in the western part of the city compared to the east.


3 thoughts on “2023 Bloomington Democratic Party Primary: Mapping out the mayoral results

  1. Thank you for this. So very interesting and informative

  2. Yes, thank you. The first map, at the top of the article, uses colors hard to tell which is which, tho.

  3. Very interesting. Thanks for taking time to do this analysis.

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