In the weeks leading up to the primary election, I walked around this state house district and counted/geocoded all the lawn signs for the Norfolk 15th State House race in a smartphone application. (These are both Democrats; no Republican is running). Lawn signs are pretty consistent with vote shares and you can see “homefield advantage” type stuff in both (more signs & more votes in precincts where candidate lives).

norfolk15_lawnsigns.pngnorfolk15_precnorfolk15_prec_stone

I was able to get a hold of and digitize the Boston precinct results for this race (maybe 189 of the 270 precincts in this race, though I only get 187 to merge with the Boston precinct shapefile [Edit: One of the oddities may be Long Island; the other is Ward 5, Precinct 2a in the unofficial election results]) without too much trouble. And since I have a Boston voterfile on my computer for research, I can link these precinct results to average precinct demographics among registered voters, like age (from birthdate) and predicted race.

The maps¬† of precinct results show mostly what you’d expect (white Neighborhoods like Charlestown and Brighton’s Oak Square were better for Capuano than the city as a whole; Black neighborhoods like Roxbury/Mattapan/Dorchester’s Fields Corner much better for Pressley). But Pressley did really well everywhere in Boston, and never gets less than a third of the vote (while Capuano gets <15% in some precincts). East Boston shows up as a relative bright spot for Capuano, which seems odd given the Hispanic predominance of that area (though Capuano also won Chelsea and non-Hispanic whites likely comprise a bigger proportion of the electorate than the population).¬† I can’t tell too much from the turnout map, though maybe it shows that college-heavy precincts (like around BU and Northeastern and maybe those Longwood-area college campuses) have less turnout (which is consistent with what I find with age and regression later).

Precinct-level regressions indicate that precincts with larger proportions of Black voters, Hispanic voters, and younger mean age gave a higher vote share to Pressley. Higher Hispanic percentage predicted lower turnout, precincts with an older average voter had higher turnout; association for Black percentage on turnout was null (no association with turnout conditional on Hispanic percent and mean age).

 

 

 

Precinct-Level Determinants (Boston only)
Dependent variable:
Pressley Vote Share Turnout
Black % 0.375*** -0.002
(0.02) (0.013)
Hispanic % 0.178*** -0.108***
(0.051) (0.034)
Mean Age -1.194*** 0.710***
(0.135) (0.089)
Observations 187 187
R2 0.676 0.289
Adjusted R2 0.671 0.277
F Statistic (df = 3; 183) 127.525*** 24.777***
Note: *p<0.1; **p<0.05; ***p<0.01