Westminster Viets vote in bloc (Part 2)

In Part 1 (here), we saw a clear bloc voting pattern where all three Vietnamese-American candidates for the Westminster City Council got their votes in the same distribution from the same precincts, and the top ones are centered right in the middle of Little Saigon.

The bloc voting pattern is even clearer when we compare incumbent Tyler Diep, who lost his seat, with the candidate who beat him by a slim margin, Diana Carey. Carey got a total of 8999 votes to Diep’s 8787, edging out a 0.4% margin.

The following graph compares the number of votes Diep got against those Carey received. If there is Viet bloc voting for Viet candidates, we would expect no correlation between Diep and Carey.

And sure enough there isn’t.

Votes for Diana Carey and for Tyler Diep.

Now we compare the differences in the percentage of votes in each precinct that Carey and Diep received.

Here is the comparison of how many percents each got more than the other, with the precincts with 10% highlighted. Note that because there are 7 candidates and voters choose 2, a difference of 10% is even more significant than in a one-on-one:

In more than half the precincts, one of Diep or Carey got more than 10% votes over the other.

Carey beat Diep in 25 precincts, Diep beat Carey in 28. Looking at large gaps, Carey beat Diep by more than 10% in 18 precincts, while Diep led Carey by more than 10% in 15 precincts. That’s a total of more than half the precincts.

This is in stark contrast to the Diep-Nguyen situation where even though the total gap is much larger, nowhere is the difference more than 10%.

Given that Diep and Carey got nearly the same total, this says that Diep drew his strongest support where Carey was not, and vice-versa.

Remember the nine precincts in the heart of Little Saigon that voted more than 40% for Diep? None of them gave Carey more than 25% of its votes. Is that consistent with the bloc voting hypothesis? Of course.

Finally, let’s take a look at Diep’s votes vs the votes for the highest vote getter, Sergio Contreras, a Mexican-American who himself has a long history of working with the Vietnamese community, thus receiving a good dose of support among Vietnamese voters as well.

Number of votes for Sergio Contreras and Tyler Diep, by precinct.

Contreras beat Diep overwhelmingly, in a broad base of 41 precincts, including every single one of the 25 where Carey got more than Diep, plus 16 of the precincts that Diep got more than Carey.

This dominance can be seen when comparing percents:

Percent share of votes by precinct, for Sergio Contreras and Tyler Diep.

Contreras got more than 10% over Diep in 28 precincts, including 6 where Diep beat Carey. His support is also more evenly spread than Diep’s; the percent of votes that Diep got varies a lot more, one-and-a-half times more, than Contreras, and we can say that with better than 90% confidence. (In statistics terms, the variance for Contreras’s percent is 0.6%, for Diep’s 0.9%, with F-test p = 0.061 < 0.10).

Conclusion? Voting results in Westminster in 2012 are consistent with the proven history of bloc voting. That means the presence of two other Viet candidates should not have caused Diep’s loss: Unless Diep was the last choice for Vietnamese, he should be one of two choices by Viet voters and have at least as many Viet votes as the other two together. The real reason Diep lost appears to be he didn’t garner enough support outside of, or even in, the couple dozen precincts of high Vietnamese concentration that he had been relying on.




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