Election Wrap-Up Ends And The New Year Begins
Unless Ben, Gur or EnWhySeaWonk answer my pleas to post my holiday story about my family “temporarily” adopting a cat left homeless by Sandy (which I can’t manage to post, because it contains photos), and barring any late breaking news that cannot be ignored, this will be my last post of the year. This will also be the fifth and last of Gatemouth’s series of articles reviewing the November election data just posted by the Board of Elections, unless something interesting turns up when they finally posted the correct results for Assembly in the 52nd AD (the Board’s link for that election currently contains the results for AD 51).
The major stories have all been told; what’s left here is a grab bag.
PRESIDENT: In 2008, Barack Obama lost six ADs out of 65 in the city. Four in Brooklyn (45, 47. 48 & 49); one in Staten Island (62) and one straddling the Verrazano (then numbered 60, now numbered 64).
In 2012, he’s down to four, as the 47th and 49th both went for the President.
I posit that this had almost nothing to do with the Presidential race.
The first cause was reapportionment. The 49th was radically redrawn as an Asian majority district, and lost, among other things, an ultra-Orthodox part of Borough Park. The changes in the 49th necessitated the 47th picking up turf which was more Democratic than that it had before. The 47th also lost conservative turf in its east end which was deemed more useful to the 45th’s Steve Cymbrowitz.
The other cause was demographics. Even staying where they were, the Asian populations of both districts had expanded rapidly (both also had some gain in Latinos). The newcomers are far more Democratic than those they’ve taken the place of.
US SENATE: In 2010, Kirsten Gillibrand lost three ADs in the City (45, 48 and 62). This time, she won every AD in the City.
3rd CD: While winning in Queens and District-wide, Steve Israel lost his portions of ADs 27 and 40.
6th CD: Grace Meng’s victory over Dan Halloran was so solid that she beat him everywhere; even in his home base in the 26th AD and the white Christian 30th AD.
13th CD: It is interesting to note what NYC voters will do when given a choice between an ethically challenged incumbent and a Republican (more on that below). In the case of Charlie Rangel’s GOP opponent, Craig Schley, voters had already gotten to know him as a candidate in the Democratic primary, which probably didn’t help matters much for his cause, such that it was.
In the end, 5,533 voters took the trouble instead to vote for Socialist Workers candidate Deborah Liatos. How astonishing is this number? Could not this just be an embrace of the Marxism really desired by Harlem, Washington Heights and the West Bronx?
Well, in the entire City of New York, the one identifiably Socialist candidate for President (if one doesn’t count Barack Obama), Peta Lindsay, of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, got only 778 votes. Yes, it is true that the Trotskyite Socialist Workers are a far more appealing crowd than the frighteningly Charles Barronesque sickos at Socialism and Liberation, but I really don’t believe most voters were really making that distinction.
What I do think this proves is that some voters, not given an appropriate outlet for their grievances on the ballot will find one nonetheless (more on that below).
17th SD: Though I have covered this race elsewhere, it should be noted that David Storobin lost every AD here, including those where Russians comprised as much of the electorate as Orthodox Jews.
19th SD: Here’s one I missed in my review of Orthodox Jewish voting patterns in southern Brooklyn. John Sampson lost the small Orthodox Jewish portion of the 42nd AD in his Senate District to Republican Jane Neal by a vote of 58 to 59.
21SD: The preposterousness of the mainstream media’s Mindy Meyer obsession might be brought out by the fact that if you subtracted from Kevin Parker all the votes he received on the Democratic line, he would still have beaten Meyer 5349 (65.70%) to 2733 (33.57%).
WRITE-INS: One of the most interesting aspects of switching to paper ballots and giving every voter a pencil is that the number of write ins has increased, giving Gate some interesting fodder.
One thing I noticed is that voters tend to avail themselves of this opportunity far less when they have choices on the ballot, even if they are nominal ones.
Every AD where the write in votes for Assembly were in mere single digits (30, 77, 78, 79, 83, 85, 86) was one where voters had more than one choice.
By contrast, with two exceptions involving members with well publicized ethical problems, every race where 90 or more write in votes were cast (27, 28, 66, 69) were ones where voters had only one choice on the ballot.
The exceptions were instructive.
In AD 55, where incumbent William “Junior” Boyland is under indictment, he already faced both a placeholder Republican and a former Community School Board member who’d failed to make the Democratic Primary ballot, but was running an actual campaign in the general on the Independence line.
Nonetheless, Boyland’s primary runner-up, Anthony Jones, chose to run as a write-in and received 147 votes. In total 171 write-in votes were cast in this race.
As a result of his campaigning, Jones also received write-in votes in the ADs 41, 42, 56, and 60, as well as the 8th CD Congressional race.
However, the City Assembly race which attracted the most write-ins was Vito Lopez’s 53rd AD, despite (or perhaps because of ) the presence of brain-dead Republican placeholder Richy Garcia.
The race attracted 229 write in votes, despite the absence of any organized campaign. 62 were deemed unattributable. Of the living breathing humans who attracted votes, the largest number went to Lincoln Restler, who received 37. The next highest numbers went to Diana Reyna (5) and Charles Barron (4), but the most interesting were the two votes cast for Anita Hill.
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