Monday, August 11, 2014
An analysis of Kaua`i’s primary election results shows that the island is a far bluer shade of purple than most folks expected.
The colors refer to the shirts worn at the rallies around the anti-GMO legislation before the County Council, Bill 2491.
Those seeking to drive Kaua`i’s seed and coffee companies either into compliance or off the island wore red. Those supporting the seed and coffee firms wore blue.
People trying to bring the battling sides together, or who favored a little of this and a little of that, wore purple. Some may have also worn purple out of patriotism, as purple is the color associated with Kaua`i in island festivals.
Kaua`i voters in the Primary Election gave support to its industrial farming interests, strongly backing candidates who oppose aggressive pesticide and genetically modified crop regulation.
Political pundits have suggested that the results also show the island’s movement in the direction of supporting a more aggressive stance against industrial farming. That is certainly true, but it will take another election cycle to determine whether the reds have static or still-growing support.
A bespoke analysis of election results found that the island is quite supportive of its big farming supporters. Here are three big takeaways.
As a whole, the island voted blue, 62 percent blue.
Fourteen of the island’s 16 precincts voted blue.
Of the three districts, the West Side District 16 voted 70 percent blue, central District 15 voted two-thirds blue, and the East-North district was split, 50.5 percent red, 49.5 percent blue.
We conducted our analysis this way:
Mayor Bernard Carvalho and Councilman Mel Rapozo have the most serious blue credentials on the island. Rapozo on the Council led the unsuccessful battle to stop 2491. Carvalho vetoed 2491.
And you can’t get better red credentials than those of Dustin Barca, a pro-2491 activist and mayoral challenger, and Councilman Gary Hooser, who successfully shepherded 2491 through the Council.
We added Carvalho’s and Rapozo’s votes in each precinct, and compared them to the combined votes of Barca and Hooser. We divided the blue vote by the combined vote to get the percentage of blue (the Carvalho-Rapozo vote) in the mix.
The island clearly fades from pretty red on the North Shore to very blue on the west side. But while Barca and Hooser clearly won Hanalei and Kilauea, they did not win by nearly as much as the Carvalho-Hooser contingent won the West Side. Red took the north shore by two-thirds, but Blue took the West side by three-quarters.
Here are the blue percentages by polling place and precinct number:
Hanalei 14-01: 34%
Kilauea 14-02: 32%
Anahola 14-03: 53%
Kapaa Elementary 14-04: 59%
Kapaa NbrhdCtr 14-05: 66%
Kapaa MiddleSchool 15-01: 55%
King Kaumuali`i 15-02: 73%
Wilcox School 15-03: 77%
Chiefess Kamakahelei 15-04: 73%
Koloa Elementary 15-05: 61%
Koloa NbrhdCtr 16-01: 61%
Kalaheo 16-02: 66%
Hanapepe 16-03: 77%
Waimea 16-04: 73%
Kekaha 16-05: 77%
Niihau 16-06: 75%
The bluest community of all was Kekaha, the missile range and seed corn industry’s territory, where Carvalho and Rapozo pulled in 1268 votes to Barca and Hooser’s 376.
The reddest of all was in the organic farming and retirement community of Kilauea, where Barca and Hooser pulled 1354 votes to Carvalho and Rapozo’s 686.
© Jan TenBruggencate 2014