S.F.’s Republicans Are Hiding Near the Border

A small southwestern edge of the city turned out for Trump in 2016. Will they change their vote in 2020?

Local election data from November 2016 showed one neighborhood is particularly Trump-friendly.

Republicans tend to lay low in the liberal enclave that is San Francisco, but national election results have a way of outing even the most-closeted. After the November 2016 election, a map made by political consultant Jim Stearns made the rounds, disclosing exactly which precincts in San Francisco were full of Donald Trump-loving fervor.

To be fair, Trump only took 9.23 percent of San Francisco’s vote that year, but that’s still 37,000 people. And, most of them live in the same place: District 7. Yes, smiling, gentle Supervisor Norman Yee — a man concerned largely with pedestrian safety and affordable childcare — presides over the city’s largest geographic cluster of Trump supporters.

The largest dark-red section of the city was precinct 9723, which oddly includes the zoo — and no, before you ask, it’s not because of the elephants, because San Francisco Zoo hasn’t had any since 2004. Instead, it’s thanks to a neighboring cul-de-sac. The rows of single- or double-family homes between Lakeshore Drive and Lake Merced Boulevard are wildly expensive, but only because everything in San Francisco is. They’re small, modest, architecturally uninteresting, carefully manicured, and apparently very Republican.

The Trumpian trend moves east from this block past Ross and Big 5 Sporting Goods, through Lowell High School and beyond Stonestown Galleria to Junipero Serra Boulevard, where it spills over to the Target on Ocean Avenue, finally sputtering out before it reaches the hippie haven of Whole Foods.

Aside from a fairly high 57-percent homeownership rate in District 7, it’s hard to determine exactly why this cluster of Trump supporters sits in the southwestern part of the city. Perhaps it’s a shared affinity for golf. After all, there are three courses within a mile of this neighborhood, including the San Francisco Golf Club, considered one of the most exclusive private clubs in the United States. Its limited membership includes a number of millionaires, and — at least back in 2004 — was rumored not to accept Jews.

Or, it could simply be wealth. Merced Manor, which went fairly red for Trump, has few renters, its large-by-S.F.-standards homes featuring rare two-car garages and large backyards.

Regardless of the reasons why the southwestern edge of San Francisco liked Trump in 2016, it acts as an interesting litmus test for the city’s future. Will it hold onto its conservative values in 2020? Are they secretly plotting to build a wall between S.F. and Daly City? Or will this neighborhood flip? While the rest of the country keeps a steely eye on swing states like Georgia and Texas, we’ll be watching with keen interest what choices the residents of District 7 make in the future.

 

Read more from SF Weekly’s “Borderlands” issue

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NIMBY-land Brisbane Says Yes to Major Housing
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Urban Camper: Escape to Sunrise Point
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Borderlands: Five Places to Eat and Drink Along S.F.’s Southern Edge
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For BART, No Representation Without Taxation
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Inside the 7 Mile House, a 160-Year Old Restaurant in the Middle of Nowhere
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