Socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant won re-election by a decisive margin of 55.5 to 44.3 percent. Supporters have hailed her victory as the beginning of a socialist revolution, but as with many things claimed by the socialist brigade facts get in the way.
It is more accurate to contain Sawant’s victory to Seattle’s District 3 because—without passage of Seattle Districts Now in 2013—the socialist would likely be looking at a very different outcome this election cycle.
As Crosscut points out, given Sawant’s performance, her victory would have been hard to repeat had her election depended on a citywide vote rather than a district vote. Crosscut,
“How, considering her solid win, is Sawant’s improved performance a disappointment? Keep in mind that Sawant’s new turf, District 3, draws most of its population from Capitol Hill and the Central District. These areas are strongholds for Sawant, with their younger, renter-heavy populations. In 2013, she defeated Conlin in what’s now District 3 by a decisive 58.3 to 41.4 percent, or a whopping 16.9 percentage points.
“From here, the math is simple. In 2013, Sawant won citywide by 1.7 percentage points (that 50.7-49.0 percent result), helped by that 16.9 point margin in what is now District 3. In 2015, Sawant appears to have won District 3 by 11.2 percentage points. That’s a 5.7 point decline in District 3, considerably more than her 1.7 percent margin citywide in 2013. The decline in District 3 wouldn’t be enough to lose the citywide election for her, but there’s no reason to assume that her decline wouldn’t have been similar, if not worse, elsewhere in the city.”
The fact that Sawant probably would have lost—even with her name recognition—in a citywide election doesn’t change the fact that she did, in fact, win her district and will be a member of the city council. However, it does grant a degree of assurance that—even in Seattle—voters aren’t quite ready for a socialist revolution.