James Sutherland

Guest Contributor

Stories by James Sutherland

Boston’s presidential election numbers

Boston’s presidential election numbers

Huge Clinton margins - but lower turnout - in minority precincts mirror her problems nationally

NATIONWIDE, THE STORY over the past couple of weeks has been how Donald Trump outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Back here in Boston the converse was true: Hillary Clinton trounced Donald Trump. Clinton did slightly better in Boston than President Obama did in both 2008 and 2012. Even further, Clinton did not(...)

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Four arguments for four-year Boston City Council terms

Four arguments for four-year Boston City Council terms

Change would bring more competition, more diverse electorate

THERE HAS BEEN a great deal of discussion and debate after the Boston City Council recently voted 12-1 in favor of extending their term length from two years to four years in order to coincide with the four-year mayoral term. Final approval of any changes to their term length still requires the sign-off of the(...)

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The incredibly vanishing Boston voter

The incredibly vanishing Boston voter

City residents turn out for presidential races, but have become increasingly scarce in municipal elections

WE HAVE LOOKED at voter turnout in each off-year Boston City Council election beginning in 1985 – the first off-year election after the change in the structure of government brought about by a referendum four years prior.  There has been a decline in participation in off-year city elections, even as the population has increased and(...)

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Instant runoff voting could improve Boston elections

Instant runoff voting could improve Boston elections

New system would democratize municipal contests

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, voter turnout in local elections has steadily dropped. Electorates for local elections are a shell of what they once were — and of what they could be, given the more robust turnout for state and national elections. This fall, voters in Boston will go to the polls to elect members of the(...)

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Kid-free Boston

Kid-free Boston

A sharp decline in children is dramatically reshaping the city

IN A 2011 Boston Globe op-ed, columnist Scot Lehigh asked: “Where are the snow shovelers of yesteryear?” He suggested that the once-eager entrepreneurs must be more consumed by Facebook, texting, and video games than by making a few quick dollars trudging through the snow and slush. This winter’s snowfall has many Bostonians echoing Lehigh’s question. We crunched some numbers and now we have(...)

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A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities

Boston mayoral vote shows big split based on education and income

Throughout this municipal election season, we have highlighted – here, here, and here – the bifurcated nature of Boston’s electorate. On November 5, Boston selected its first new mayor in more than 20 years. After the field had been narrowed from 12 candidates in September, voters were left with a choice between two well-qualified yet(...)

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No surge of ‘new’ voters

No surge of ‘new’ voters

Boston follows its traditional municipal voting pattern in the preliminary election

In the Spring issue of CommonWealth, several months before Boston’s September mayoral preliminary election, we argued that a candidate who was able to energize the incipient swath of new voters in the city’s northern and downtown neighborhoods could potentially emerge victorious. In that article, as well as a follow-up online analysis of the recent special(...)

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Elections highlight shifts in Boston voting

Elections highlight shifts in Boston voting

Recent special elections put spotlight on changing electorate

In the spring issue of CommonWealth, we wrote about the shifts occurring in the distribution of votes in Boston, highlighting the big increase in votes coming from downtown and other northern neighborhoods populated mainly by white, younger, and educated professionals (Statistically Significant, “Where the votes are in Boston”). We wrote that these residents, who have(...)

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