In West Hollywood election, a famously liberal city appears to take a moderate turn
The most striking feature of the Los Angeles elections of 2012 has been the degree to which the city’s political spectrum has shifted. On Tuesday, the city voted overwhelmingly in what was expected to be another extremely liberal outcome. But it wasn’t.
The outcome was expected to be a landslide. There was a long history of low turnout among the city’s voters, but on Tuesday there were many, many new voters who showed up at the polls. And for the first time, many of them voted differently than the city tends to vote.
The city of Los Angeles is both the world’s fifth most expensive and fifth most expensive-to-live-in U.S. cities. When we look at the top 10 most expensive U.S. cities it’s hard to see which one, even when it comes to housing, is more expensive.
So we decided to see what kind of voter we could find in its most expensive neighborhood. West Hollywood is the only U.S. city with a ZIP code containing “C”s: 10051, the third postal code down from Los Angeles.
‘You don’t know me’
West Hollywood was a longtime West LA hotbed, a small but wealthy enclave with a mix of artists, celebrities and business owners. As of July 2011, it had 6,600 residents, according to West Hollywood’s unofficial population list.
Most people think of West Hollywood as a Hollywood haven with the same sense of exclusivity that exists in other pricey and exclusive places with exclusive tastes. But it really has a larger, more diverse population and is a relatively affluent part of the city where real estate is cheaper and the average rent is lower than most West L.A. neighborhoods.
The neighborhood is also much more interesting to live in than people often realize. It’s where the L.A. gay community is centered, and is home to numerous gay clubs, bars and theaters.
When we first heard about the election, we thought West Hollywood would be the liberal community’s favorite suburb, with perhaps a heavy Obama vote. It was the liberal community that was more active on social media, which helped the Obama campaign connect with voters.
But when I