As of this morning, Cary Moon may trail Jenny Durkan 39.4% to 60.6%, but she and her campaign are counting on a late voter swing to potentially shift the results.
In past elections, a pattern has emerged where early voters tend to be older, while later voters tend to be younger and more liberal. So while early results may show one candidate ahead, their lead may shrink and sometimes disappear as later votes are tallied.
In 2013, Mayor Mike McGinn was down 13 points to then-state Senator Murray, the night of the election. Though McGinn ultimately lost, by the time the later votes were counted, McGinn only ended up losing by 4 points. At a nearly 10 percentage point swing, the later votes can certainly have an impact.
Moon’s campaign seems to be anticipating this kind of vote shift over the coming days. Yesterday afternoon, before results started coming in, a statement from Moon’s campaign read,
“We expect tonight’s counts will show Moon behind Durkan, and then will tighten up over the days ahead… We will be happy to see Moon at 39.5% or above tonight.”
In an announcement last night, Moon said,
“Seattle late voters may surprise everyone. We believe the ballot counts will swing in our direction over time, and we’re not out of the race yet… Seattle’s voters won’t let the future of our city be sunk by status quo thinking and politics as usual. There is too much at stake. We look forward to the next few days of ballot returns. Thank you all.”
We will see over the coming days if Moon and her supporters get the vote swing they are relying on.