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If you want to know who’s probably going to win the mayoral race and why, head on over to City Desk and check out the topline results of our nifty poll with WAMU. But the most intriguing stuff is in the crosstabs. Of interest to this blog are questions about who owns, who rents, who bikes to work, and who can walk where they need to shop. Many of the answers reflect the class and race divide that’s been evident for much of the campaign.
Let’s go to the numbers.
Out of our poll respondents, 22 percent rent their homes, and 66 percent own (most of the rest live with a relative who owns their home). But only 56 percent of black people own, compared to 80 percent of whites; 28 percent of blacks rent, compared to 13 percent of whites. There’s also some gender inequality here, though it’s less pronounced: 25 percent of women rent, compared to 18 percent of guys; 63 percent of women own their homes, compared to 70 percent of guys.
Politically, you can see where this is going: 76 percent of people who support Mayor Adrian Fenty own their homes, vs. 60 percent of Vince Gray supporters. Twenty-nine percent of Gray voters rent; the number is half as high for Fenty voters.
OK, bikes: Sadly, only eight percent of all our respondents—or members of their immediate family—have ridden bikes to work three or more times! Poor showing, D.C. Thirteen percent of Fenty voters are bike riders, vs. three percent for Gray.
And now, the “walkability” question, which has become an issue in the Ward 6 race. Out of our respondents, 40 percent felt they could do most of their shopping within an easy walk of their homes. But the number is only 29 percent for black people, compared to 54 percent of whites. Those numbers are almost exactly the same when you match up the candidates: 53 percent of Fenty voters and 34 percent of Gray voters can get what they need within walking distance.
So, can we conclude that the 2010 campaign narrative of predominantly white, wealthy, smart-growth-loving bike riders voting for Fenty is true? Well, not completely. But let’s put it this way: The results sure don’t disprove that narrative either.