Kevin Falconer

Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer in his office on Thursday. — K.C. Alfred

By Mark Walker
February 15, 2014

An analysis of Tuesday’s San Diego special mayoral election returns shows Kevin Faulconer swept the Republican vote, triumphed among independents and older voters and picked up substantial backing from Democrats.

His win over David Alvarez, 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent, was cemented in higher turnout among the Republican-leaning precincts that vastly outperformed comparable Democratic precincts.

The analysis based on unofficial precinct results from the San Diego County Registrar shows the degree of Faulconer’s crossover support: He captured nearly 46 percent of the Democratic vote in 384 precincts with majority or plurality Democratic voting-age populations, and he won 170 of those.

In the 406 mostly white precincts, Faulconer won 302 and nearly 60 percent of the vote. Turnout in those districts ran around 42 percent.

In the 74 precincts home to a majority Latino voting-age population, turnout was just 28 percent. Alvarez won all but two of those, but his fate was sealed by the relative low turnout.

Mesa College political science professor Carl Luna said labor’s vaunted “turnout machine did not turn out. The lesson for Democrats is don’t count your progressive eggs before they’re hatched.”

Faulconer also captured all 136 of the city’s majority or plurality Republican voting-age population precincts, and nearly two-thirds of the vote in majority or plurality independent precincts.

Faulconer said hasn’t had a chance to conduct his own review of the city’s 580 precinct results. But his ability to count on precincts north of Interstate 8 that strongly backed him Nov. 19 gave him freedom to work Latino neighborhoods and cut into Alvarez’s base.

“I probably spent more time south of Interstate 8 than I did north of Interstate 8,” he said. “I talked about jobs and economic opportunity, and I talked about how my job is to help foster that, particularly helping small businesses and putting people back to work.”

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