How Jacob Frey won another term in ranked-choice votes
After only two rounds of tabulation, incumbent Mayor Jacob Frey won a second term at the helm of the City of Minneapolis with a total of 70,669 votes.
His main challenger, Kate Knuth, landed in the final round with 55,007 votes after picking up a substantial number of second-choice votes. She had only 26,468 votes in the first round, even behind Sheila Nezhad, but Nezhad didn't have enough second- and third-choice votes to make her a mathematically viable candidate.
In the end, Frey prevailed by a margin of more than 10 percentage points, mostly due to a strong lead in the first round.
Generally, in each round, the candidate with the least amount of votes has those votes reallocated to the next choice marked on each person's ballot. This continues until one candidate either reaches a majority or until there are only two candidates left, which is what happened in this case. "Exhausted ballots" were those which did not have more viable candidate choices marked for the next round. Read more about the reallocation process here.
After the first round, most candidates were eliminated after it was determined they did not meet a mathematical threshold required to win, including Nezhad. Nezhad didn't have enough second- and third-choice votes to stay in the race. Most of her second-choice votes went to Knuth. Few went to Frey, possibly an indication of the "Don't Rank Frey" campaign.
Most of Frey's second-round reallocated votes came from lower-total candidates.
Candidates in that group, marked as "All others" above, include: AJ Awed, Laverne Turner, Clint Conner, Bob "Again" Carney Jr., Marcus Harcus, Nate "Honey Badger" Atkins, Mark Globus, Doug Nelson, Jerrell Perry, Mike Winter, Christopher W David, Kevin "No Body" Ward, Paul E. Johnson, Troy Benjegerdes, Christopher Robin "CRZ" Zimmerman, Adam Drissi and undeclared write-ins (which included Darth Vader and Regina George).
With a sizable lead in first-choice votes, Frey had the advantage heading into tabulation on Wednesday morning, but reallocation was a much simpler process than in 2017, when the mayor's race went into five rounds of tabulation.
In 2017, Frey was consistently in the lead after from the first round, while Raymond Dehn ranked fourth initially but ended up in second after Tom Hoch and then-incumbent Betsy Hodges were eventually eliminated.
There were also many fewer thousands votes cast four years ago — Frey won with a total of about 46,000 votes then but had more than that in just the first round this year.