Friday, April 03, 2009

Barone on NY’s 20th District’s Absentee Ballots

Michael Barone, one of our best election analysts, yesterday discussed the 5900+ absentee and military ballots which will decide the House race in NY’s 20th congressional district.

Here’s some of what he said - - -

… Of those 5,995 votes, 48 percent were cast by registered Republicans, 36 percent were cast by registered Democrats and 16 percent by others. That's a 12 percent Republican advantage, a little less than the 15 percent advantage Republicans have in total party identification.

It suggests to me a pretty good Democratic absentee voter drive, since registered Democrats in an Upstate New York district are likelier to be behavioral Democrats than registered Republicans are to be behavioral Republicans. (Reasons: a lot of people register Republican to vote in legislative and local primaries in jurisdictions which are now or have been heavily Republican in general elections; some people may have registered as Republicans years ago out of conviction but lately have been voting Democratic, which is in line with the Democratic trend over the last decade or so in Upstate New York).

Thus this absentee electorate could be a little more Democratic than the voters who voted on election day.

However, it's also possible that an effective Republican absentee voter drive targeted those registered Republicans who also indicate that they are behavioral Republicans; if I were setting up an absentee voter drive that's what I'd aim at doing.

So this absentee electorate could be a little more Republican than the electorate as a whole. There's no real way to know until the votes are counted. …

There's still time for absentee ballots to be received—and even more time for military ballots. …

Democrats are spinning that the absentees from each county will come in the same way the county voted on election day, in which case the Democrat Scott Murphy wins. Maybe, maybe not.

Republicans are spinning that the absentees will come in more Republican than the election day vote because of the Republican party registration edge among them. Again, maybe, maybe not.

Barone’s entire post's here at his
Thomas Jefferson Street blog.