Election map: 2023 Nashville mayor race looks like 2020 Presidential election – Tennessee Lookout

Nashville’s mayoral runoff election turned into a classic Democrat versus Republican race despite being classified nonpartisan.

The August general election effectively served as a 12-person party primary, producing a known Republican in Alice Rolli and a more liberal candidate in Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell.

O’Connell then fully embraced his Democratic Party ties in the runoff, which included an endorsement from the Tennessee Democratic Party. He also added a portion to his mailers attacking Rolli for attending Trump’s inauguration and for ties to Republicans — including the hiring and subsequent firing of a consulting firm connected to the far-right Proud Boys.

This caused the race to become partisan and made the results look like those of the 2020 Presidential Election. President Joe Biden won 64.5% of Nashville’s vote, while O’Connell won 63.9%. Both men won in similar areas, sweeping the center parts of the city inside the Interstate 440 belt.

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Rolli secured a higher percentage of the vote than Donald Trump did and managed to lower O’Connell’s margin of victory in South Nashville. But, she performed worse than the former Republican president in West Nashville and the top northern parts of the city.

The most significant difference between the races was the electorate. The 2023 runoff vote total of 114,103 narrowly surpassed the previous high of 110,724 votes cast in the 2015 runoff between Former Mayor Megan Barry and David Fox.

But nearly three times as many people voted in the 2020 presidential election than in the mayoral race, showing a potential path for Republicans to win Nashville’s mayoral election with the right turnout strategy.

Overall, the city has shifted to a solidly Democratic-led city in the past eight years. Barry won 55% of the vote in a 2015 runoff, where the partisan dynamics mirrored the 2023 election.