Election 2012: Mission Voters Historically Lean Left

All graphics by Molly Roy.

All graphics by Molly Roy.

The Mission is a liberal-leaning district in a liberal-leaning city in a liberal-leaning state.

So it came as no surprise when an overwhelming majority of Mission voters — nearly 90 percent — voted in 2008 to send a progressive grassroots community organizer to the White House.

In 30 days, Mission residents, along with millions of Americans, will take to the polls for yet another historic presidential election between the two largest political parties.

The contenders: Democratic President Barack Obama, a one-term veteran grappling with a flailing economy and a gridlocked Congress, and Republican rival Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who in the view of many analysts carried the first presidential debate with aggressive style.

And despite the narrow margin among registered voters who say they will vote for either Obama or Romney — 49 to 45 percent, respectively, according to a pre-debate poll by Gallup — old habits die hard.

The numbers — if not neighborhood attitude alone — indicate that Mission residents are extremely likely to continue voting in a liberal fashion.

Data gathered by the San Francisco Ethics Commission shows that for the past four presidential elections — 1996 through 2008 — at least 70 percent of eligible Mission residents have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate.

By contrast, no more than 8 percent of Mission residents voted for the Republican presidential candidate during those years.

Compare that to nationwide results: No Republican presidential candidate won more than 53 percent of the vote in any general election from 1996 to 2008, while no Democrat claimed more than 49 percent of the popular vote during that period, according to data compiled by the Federal Election Commission.

The charts below compare recent presidential election results in the Mission to the vote in the rest of the country.

Mission: Then-Senator Barack Obama swept the vote with 89.6 percent. Republican rival Senator John McCain trailed far behind with 6.6 percent.

United States: Obama won the majority with 52.9 percent, but McCain wasn’t too far behind with 45.7 percent.

Mission: An overwhelming 88.4 percent for Senator John Kerry to a slender 7.5 percent for George W. Bush.

United States: Bush, seeking re-election, won the close election with 50.7 percent, sending Kerry home with 48.3 percent.

Mission: Vice President Al Gore won 74.1 percent of the vote. Then-Governor George W. Bush trailed with 7.2 percent.

United States: Gore won the popular vote and the greatest percentage of votes, 48.4 percent to Bush’s 47.9 percent, but Bush’s slight majority in electoral votes — 271 to Gore’s 266 — meant he would take home the bacon.

Mission: President William “Bill” Clinton, running for re-election, won 71.4 percent of the vote, followed by Green Party candidate Ralph Nader with 15 percent. Republican nominee Bob Dole trailed with 6.3 percent.

United States: Clinton beat Dole, 49.2 percent to 40.7 percent. Nader received less than 1 percent — 0.71 percent — of the vote.

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