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By the Numbers: Elk Grove & new city council districts

With more than 170,000 residents, Elk Grove not only anchors the South County region but is the largest suburb of Sacramento. Incorporated in 2000, the city comprises nearly 12% percent of all registered voters in Sacramento County, and almost a quarter of the 7th Congressional District (22%).

As throughout the South County, steady residential development from 2012 to 2020 has broadly filled in Elk Grove’s precinct map as shown below. At the same time, the number of majority Democratic precincts has shifted dramatically from 47% to 83% (based on 7th Congressional District election data).

This shrinking Republican voting base can be starkly seen in the voter registration data. Due to both residential growth and the 2018 Motor Voter Law, Elk Grove saw its number of registered voters leap in the last decade by 34% or about 25,000 voters overall.

However, this yielded a net gain of a mere 132 registered Republicans. This has caused the local GOP to fall well behind the ranks of Democrats and voters registered as Independents or No Party Preference.

But the most significant electoral change in Elk Grove takes affect this election. Previously all five members of the City Council – the mayor and four city councilmembers – were elected “at large,” or by every citizen in the city. But starting this November, the four councilmembers will be elected only by voters in their individual districts. (Election of mayor will remain by citywide ballot.)

Here is a map of those districts and a breakdown for how those districts voted in the March primary.

NOTE: Data in the “Primary Dem Vote” column is based on the Congressional primary race and what percentage voted for any of three left-leaning candidates (Democrat or Green). The last column is the combined vote percentage of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the March 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary. Also called S+W, this is an indicator of the size of the Progressive vote among Democrats. (For greater explanation of this measurement, see this article.)

The Sacto Politico recently joined the Elk Grove News podcast to further discuss this data. See this link to listen.

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