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NY-20: Traditionally Red District Turned Blue in 2008

by: James L.

Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 5:14 PM EST

SSP's Presidential Results by CD project continues to chip away at the outstanding districts left up on our big board, and I'm pleased to announce that today, thanks to the tireless efforts of SSP hero jeffmd and the lawyerly phone charm of DavidNYC, we now have complete data for New York's newly-open 20th District.

Check it out:

Votes cast: 330,992
Obama: 167,827 (50.7%)
McCain: 157,879 (47.7%)

A traditionally GOP district, Bush carried the 20th by a 54-46 margin in 2004, and also smacked Al Gore by a 51-44 spread four years earlier.

That's one more district that we can take down from our big board, but we still have plenty more to go. If you enjoy the work that this project has produced, please consider lending a hand by calling county offices to inquire about obtaining precinct data. We can do this thing, but we need more people to participate in lightening the load. More details are available here.

James L. :: NY-20: Traditionally Red District Turned Blue in 2008
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I admire all of the work, though I don't read all of it.  I know its useful.

Here's a question.  I'd be willing to help, but have no idea how.

I know you post what you have and what you need, but what are the best steps for getting the data (besides polite phone calls and not paying for them to shiop the data to us).

I'd love to hear a step-by-step guide for how I could help.  I live in Philadelphia but wouldn't mind helping anywhere really.  I jsut don't want to do anything stupid top annoy whoever owns the data, and don't want to waste anyone's time (including my own).

Keep up the good work1

Thanks for your offer to help
To help you help us, we'll put together a simple call script that you and others can use when calling the counties. Phone calls really are what we need right now. Once we've figured out how we can get the data and how much it costs, we'll then produce a plan of attack to tie it all together.

[ Parent ]
Still R+3
Obama had a +6 national margin.  So it's still Republican-leaning.  Not to mention, as whoever-it-was mentioned, that it's got Republican registration in the 40s and Democratic registration in the 20s.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

Traditionally yes
But I would think it sensible to add more weight to the most recent numbers. If Obama won the district against the faux-moderate McCain without any spending then a well-funded Dem running a good campaign and supported by the national party that happens to be in the majority can win here too.

[ Parent ]
Indeed, but we must be mindful
that this is still a Republican-plurality district, and can be won by both democrats and republicans. Likewise, we must also be mindful that this district is trending strongly in our direction, both in terms of registration (which i believe has narrowed by 4%), and by voting patterns (Gillibrand + Obama).

[ Parent ]
Sure Repubs could win it
But it isn't the definite loss some are suggesting.

[ Parent ]
Well this is where Cook's PVI has its short falls
The PVI works best for close races like bush-gore 2000 race where each candidate was less than a percent behind each other.

But in the face of an ultimate landslide (like Johnson's 1964 election win of 61.1%- 38.5%) it has its shortfalls. For even an R+10 district in that race still would have voted for Johnson.

While PVI tries to reduce this effect by averaging two election results it still has some shortcomings. Regardless of the PVI Obama still won this district and that's something to be proud of!

Male 21 Dem Ca's 1st  

[ Parent ]
It is also nice to see Obama carry some districts in California that Bush won comfortably (CA-03, CA-11, CA-24, CA-25, CA-26 [w00t!], CA-44, CA-45, CA-48, CA-50).

My blog
28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)

[ Parent ]
Good work on the CD outsourcing, but...
make sure to include all of the "other" vote.

The current percentages you have for NY are probably off by about 0.07%. Check out Dave Leip's numbers are USELECTIONATLAS.ORG, especially looking for the so-called "scrap vote" totals. And note, Leip is considered THE definitive source for end totals. And under and over-votes are not calculated in.

But like I said, GREAT WORK.

There is also an excellent program through UUorld to help graphically illustrate these results and the swing vs. 2004, 2000, etc...

although generally I didn't include Write-ins, simply because there are almost always discrepancies between states and counties. (New York is better with keeping them consistent.)

Mostly, the issue arises when states have a set of "official" write-in candidates. State elections authorities will keep count of only the "approved" write-ins, while county reports will include all lumped together, without differentiating which were "approved" and which were not.

In order to make the apples-to-apples comparison, I didn't want to introduce that discrepancy, as whole counties would only include "approved" total while split counties would include all write-ins, even though some were discarded.

As you state, it is a slight discrepancy, but one that I'm willing to accept.

(Also, write-ins make the number-crunching significantly harder, since when sorting/splitting in Excel, there's no way to distinguish which write-in totals are for President and which are for Senate, Congress, State Senate, State House, County Executive, etc etc...meaning you'd have to pick through the data points individually, something that would be prohibitively time-consuming.)

[ Parent ]
Gillibrand effect
Gillibrand pulled this district Dem. She far out-paced Obama. I'd be curious to see a hypothetical 50-50 Congressional matchup's effect on the Presidential race. No way to know, but I think her being on the ballot was a positive factor for Obama.

Could also be the other way
She won by much more than was expected. Maybe Obama had coattails in the district.

[ Parent ]
I think it was Gillibrand
Her constituent services are suppose to be first rate and she works extremely hard to keep in touch with the people in her district.  Doubt it was an Obama effect.  Arcuri on the other hand had an average challenger at best and very badly underperformed.

[ Parent ]

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