One of the under-discussed items of this past election has been how Mayor Frey’s support shifted between his two elections.
We took a look at precinct-level data to figure out a few things that show how Frey’s support shifted from 2017 to 2021:
- Where the Mayor added the most votes (mostly in Wards 3, 7, 11, and 13)
- Where he saw the biggest improvement in the percentage of the votes he won (mostly in Wards 4 & 5)
- Where he lost the most support (mostly in Wards 2 & 3 near the U, 6, and 10)
Looking at both raw vote totals and percentages is important to get the complete story of his re-election. We also tracked votes on Question 2 (the public safety charter amendment) to see where support for the amendment lined up with support or opposition for Frey. The precincts with biggest vote surges voted overwhelmingly for Frey, but not by as much as they voted No on Question 2. On the other side, many of the places where Frey’s support declined were places that added the fewest voters over the last four years.
We only looked at first choice votes here, which may not be the perfect way to view a ranked choice election, but is as good of a proxy of actual support as anything else. An important caveat on all of this is that many of these shifts were also driven by his opposition, which featured a candidate that had a base of support in Wards 4 & 5 in 2017 (Nekima Levy Armstrong) and a candidate that had a base of support in Ward 6 in 2021 (AJ Awed).
After failing to get the most first choice votes in a single precinct in either the 4th or 5th Wards last time around, Frey got the most first choice votes in every single precinct in both Wards in 2021. Across all 17 precincts in Wards 4 & 5, he added 3,516 first choice votes. Across the 6 precincts where he added the most votes alone (see first table), he added 3,987 first choice votes.
There have been lots of great election-related maps and data published elsewhere, including Greta Kaul in Minn Post, Aaron Booth in the Minnesota Reformer, and the whole team at the Star Tribune among others if you want to check those out.
Have any more questions about this data, or how Frey or the public safety amendment performed in a certain precinct? Text us at 612-204-2887 and we’re happy to help find what you need.
Here’s where Mayor Frey added the most votes
Compared to his 2017 run, here’s where Frey added the most first choice votes – as you can see, it’s primarily in places he or Tom Hoch won last time around. In 5 of the 6 precincts, more people voted on Question 2 than voted in the Mayor’s race.
All of these places experienced large voter surges, which was either driven by an increase in population, turning out new voters, or both.
Here’s where Mayor Frey improved his percentages
If you look at where he improved his percentages, the story changes quite a bit. Most of these areas are precincts on the Northside, where Nekima Levy Armstrong (whose name appeared on the ballot as “Nekima Levy-Pounds” in 2017) did best during the last election.
Here’s where Mayor Frey lost votes
While turnout surged across the city (144k voters, compared to 104k voters last election) three of these precincts actually lost voters between 2017 and 2021. When looking at the votes “lost” here, remember that turnout was up by 40%, so anything close to zero in the “Voters added” column translates to a decline relative to the rest of the city.
These precincts generally are either places where AJ Awed won a large number of votes (and No on 2 performed well) or places that are particularly young, have lots of renters, or both (and Yes on 2 performed well).
Because these precincts had the lowest overall turnout increases, they also double as being the places where his percentages declined as well.