Tag Archives: Daily Kos Elections

New York Voting Patterns

New York’s Congressional Districts

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 11, 2021 — The Daily Kos Elections researchers are converting the 2020 presidential returns into congressional district totals, as they have successfully done in past election years. This allows us to compare the 2020 voting patterns with those from four years ago. Doing so reveals some interesting conclusions.

As you can see from the chart below of all 27 New York congressional seats, the patterns are striking, and while former President Trump met and exceeded his projected vote goals within his worst performing districts in New York City, he underperformed by similar ratios in the regions that should have been his strongest.

The NY congressional delegation is split 19-8 in the Democrats’ favor. When comparing the districts that President Joe Biden and former President Trump each won, we see that they match almost identically to the partisan choices those electorates made for the House of Representatives.

There is one exception, however, in addition to a pair of districts that Trump carried in 2016 but switched to President Biden in 2020. The Syracuse-anchored congressional seat that Republican John Katko (R) represents is the only New York district that split its presidential and congressional vote.

While Biden was carrying the CD with a nine-point margin, a net 3.6 percent Democratic improvement from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 result in this 24th District, Rep. Katko was re-elected to a fourth term with a 52-42 percent margin over college professor Dana Balter (D), his 2018 opponent who returned for a re-match. The result was a net four-point improvement for the GOP incumbent from 2018 his victory.

The two seats Trump won in 2016 that switched to President Biden in 2020 are the 18th and 19th Districts, those of Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/Peekskill) and Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) — CDs that bridge the city districts with those in the upstate region.

As the chart below shows, the striking point is that the net gains or losses in almost every 2020 district when compared to 2016 is almost opposite of what an analyst would have predicted. Former President Trump underperformed on Long Island as well as upstate, areas where he should have shown greater strength; and he over-performed in all of the New York City districts.

Trump lost the NYC seats by substantial margins, a heavily minority region, but his improvement ranged from a net 0.5 percent in Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-Manhattan) Silk Stocking district to 15.5 percent in the Bronx CD of freshman Rep. Ritchie Torres (D). Four years ago, the latter NY-15 CD was the former president’s worst-performing district in the entire country.

These particular results show that despite the media image of Trump being America’s most racist president, the numbers generally depict clear improvement among people of color in New York State.

The explanation for his lesser performance on Long Island and upstate traces back to a familiar Trump 2020 problem: performing worse among women, those aged 65 years and older, in addition to right-of-center unaffiliated and minor party voters. It was his failure to equal his 2016 performance with these voting segments that cost him his re-election victory.

As we look at other numbers from across the country, we will see the patterns uncovered in New York also becoming prevalent in most other regions.


New York

INCUMBENT BIDEN ’20 CLINTON ’16 TRUMP ’20 TRUMP ’16 NET
1 – ZELDIN 47.3 42.2 51.5 54.5 8.1
2 – GARBARINO 47.4 43.9 53.0 51.6 2.1
3 – SUOZZI 54.7 51.6 44.3 45.5 4.6
4 – RICE 55.6 53.4 43.4 43.8 2.6
5 – MEEKS 83.3 85.7 16.2 12.7 5.9
6 – MENG 61.8 65.1 37.4 32.1 8.6
7 – VAZQUEZ 81.8 84.6 16.5 13.5 4.4
8 – JEFFRIES 82.9 86.9 17.3 10.4 12.0
9 – CLARKE 81.4 83.5 17.8 14.4 5.5
10 – NADLER 76.1 78.3 22.9 18.8 6.3
11 – MALLIOTAKIS 44.3 43.8 54.8 53.6 0.7
12 – MALONEY, C. 84.1 83.3 14.8 13.5 0.5
13 – ESPAILLAT 88.1 92.3 11.2 5.4 10.0
14 – OCCASIO-CORTEZ 73.3 77.7 25.9 19.8 10.5
15 – TORRES 86.5 93.8 13.1 4.9 15.5
16 – BOWMAN 75.3 75.1 23.8 22.5 1.1
17 – JONES 59.6 58.6 39.4 38.4 0.0
18 – JONES 51.8 47.1 46.8 49.0 6.9
19 – DELGADO 49.8 44.0 48.3 50.8 8.3
20 – TONKO 59.3 54.0 38.7 40.5 7.1
21 – STEFANIK 43.8 40.0 54.2 53.9 3.5
22 – TENNEY 43.3 39.3 54.7 54.8 3.9
23 – REED 43.3 39.7 54.6 54.5 3.5
24 – KATKO 53.4 48.9 44.4 45.3 3.6
25 – MORRELLE 60.1 55.5 37.8 39.1 5.9
26 – HIGGINS 62.6 57.6 35.6 38.0 7.4
27 – JACOBS 41.1 35.2 56.8 59.7 8.8

Georgia: A Deeper Dive

By Jim Ellis

Georgia Senator-elect Jon Ossoff (D) at left, and Senator-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) – winners of Tuesday’s 2021 runoff in the Peach State.

Jan. 7, 2021 — With original vote totals being finalized for the Georgia runoffs we see Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) defeating appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) by 73,404 votes (50.8 percent) while Jon Ossoff (D) unseated Sen. David Perdue (R) with a margin of 35,615 tallies (50.4 percent).

Looking at the individual county returns along with adhering to the premise that despite what was a record overall runoff turnout (89.7 percent of the general election participation factor), the Democrats obviously did a better job of getting their voters to return for the secondary election than Republicans.

The result was surprising to us in that we predicted a close Republican victory in both contests. We were correct in forecasting that one party would win both seats, and a closer look at the county data indicates that the voters, as well as the contenders themselves running as teams, perceived the two individual runoffs as a candidate slate.

In our final analysis, missing the actual result can largely be attributed to a mistake in interpreting the early voting data.

The Target Smart statistical organization was reporting the early vote numbers and, throughout the pre-election vote-casting period, it was apparent that two points were running in the Democrats’ favor and three for the Republicans. It was clear at the end that the black turnout ran three points higher when compared to the regular election early voting numbers. Second, Democrats had closed the early voting partisan participation percentage gap by a net five percentage points.

These factors were countered in that the Republicans led in overall early voting and the numbers of those 50 years old and over were also up substantially over their regular 2020 election rate. Additionally, the categorization of over 211,000 unaffiliated voters being among the early voters was looked at as largely benefiting the GOP when remembering that 115,039 individuals had voted for the Libertarian candidate in the regular Perdue-Ossoff campaign, thus forcing the runoff. Since they are primarily right-of-center voters, it was presumed that they would break toward Perdue and Loeffler in the secondary elections.

This analysis proved incorrect. We can now see that the increased black participation rate and the significant closing of the overall early voting gap between Republicans and Democrats were clearly the more important clues as the precursor to the final runoff vote totals rather than the 50-plus increased turnout, overall rate, and perceived unaffiliated leaning.

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Iowa: Questioning the Polls

By Jim Ellis

Oct. 19, 2020 — Every political observer remembers that the cumulative polling community incorrectly predicted the Great Lakes states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the 2016 Trump-Clinton presidential race, but further research finds additional significant misses in succeeding elections.

Political research reveals that two of those campaigns came in Iowa during the 2016 presidential race and the hotly contested governor’s race two years later. Today, we look at the Hawkeye State numbers with the goal of potentially ascertaining if there is a common polling pattern or consistent error factor.

In October, four polls have been released for the 2020 contest from a like number of different pollsters, two from left of center organizations while the other two are independent entities. The research organizations are Data for Progress, Civiqs for the Daily Kos Elections webpage, YouGov, and Quinnipiac University. Each has conducted one October Iowa survey.

In the presidential race, the polls yield former vice president Joe Biden an average lead of just over one percentage point. The cumulative ballot test mode then finds Des Moines real estate executive Theresa Greenfield (D) topping Sen. Joni Ernst (R) with a margin of four percentage points.

How do these numbers compare to recent polling vs. results electoral history, and is there an inherent Republican under-poll present?

In 2016, the Real Clear Politics polling average from Nov. 1-4 found then-candidate Donald Trump leading former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a mean average of three percentage points derived from three polls and three different polling firms. On Election Day, Nov. 4, 2016, Trump carried the state by a much larger 9.5-point margin.

Overall, 26 Iowa polls were released during the 2016 election cycle, with Trump recording a cumulative average lead of under half of one percentage point. According to the Real Clear Politics polling archives, 12 firms combined to reach the grand total, including Public Policy Polling (5 surveys), NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College (5), Loras College (3), Quinnipiac University (3), Emerson College (2), and Selzer & Company for the Des Moines Register (2). The widest spread came from Loras College (Clinton plus-14) at the end of June. The Selzer & Company for the Des Moines Register poll produced the most accurate finding, Trump plus-7, at the very end of the election cycle (Nov. 1-4, 2016).

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Early Clues for Dems’ Early Targets

By Jim Ellis

April 1, 2020 — The Senate Majority PAC, one of the chief advocacy entities for Democratic candidates, has reserved media time totaling $69.2 million from August through the election, as reported on the Daily Kos Elections website. The expenditures provide us some clues into how the Democratic establishment and their progressive left allies view their strategic attack points in relation to the national political landscape.

The early media time reservations are invested in five states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina. This is certainly not the limit of the SMP planned expenditures, nor is the organization likely committed to fulfilling the entirety of this time buy without having negotiated an escape clause. All depends upon their agreements with the individual television outlets and does not include any future expenditure the group may make for radio and digital advertising.

Setting the stage, the five states are all clearly top-tier Republican-held targets of which the Democrats would have to convert nearly all in order to wrest Senate control away from the current majority. That number grows if they fail to defend their own vulnerable seats in either Alabama or Michigan, or both.

The largest time reservation is in North Carolina, where Democrats hope newly nominated Cal Cunningham, a former state senator and 2010 US Senate candidate (lost Democratic nomination to then-secretary of state Elaine Marshall who would lose the general election to GOP Sen. Richard Burr), can unseat first-term incumbent Thom Tillis (R) in a state that has defeated more senators than any other in the modern political era. Of the $69.2 million in national reservations the group made, $25.6 million is dedicated to North Carolina media markets.

Arizona gets the second largest share with $15.7 million dedicated toward helping retired astronaut Mark Kelly, already the consensus Democratic candidate, challenge appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R). Iowa, where Democrats will nominate a candidate on June 2 to challenge first-term Sen. Joni Ernst (R), will see $13.1 million of the SMP media buy. Maine gets $9.6 million to oppose Sen. Susan Collins (R), and Colorado $5.2 million largely for negative ads against first-term Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

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Not Quite a Sweep for Biden

By Jim Ellis

March 11, 2020 — Former vice president Joe Biden expanded his lead for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he didn’t quite deliver the knockout blow that many predicted.

He racked up big percentages over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Michigan (53-37 percent), the biggest delegate prize of the night with 125 bound first-ballot votes, Mississippi (81-15 percent), and Missouri (60-35 percent), and carried Idaho with a smaller margin (49-43 percent), but looks to have fallen short in North Dakota (42-49 percent), and Washington (33-33 percent).

Biden earned an approximate total of 211 bound first-ballot delegates as opposed to Sen. Sanders’ projected 138, as the following unofficial list suggests (updated vote totals as reported in the Daily Kos Elections website; delegate projections from The Green Papers website):

Idaho (99% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 48.9%
Sanders …………….. 42.5%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 20
Biden ……………….. 11
Sanders …………….. 9
Turnout: …………… 103,577   |   2016 Turnout: 23,884 (caucus)


Michigan (99% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 52.9%
Sanders …………….. 36.5%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 125
Biden ……………….. 73
Sanders …………….. 52
Turnout: …………… 1,557,615   |   2016 Turnout: 1,205,552


Mississippi (98% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 81.0%
Sanders …………….. 14.9%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 36
Biden ……………….. 34
Sanders …………….. 2
Turnout: …………… 262,252   |   2016 Turnout: 227,164


Missouri (100% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 60.1%
Sanders 34.6%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 68
Biden ……………….. 44
Sanders …………….. 24
Turnout: …………… 664,305   |   2016 Turnout: 629,425


North Dakota (78% reporting)

Biden ……………….. 42.4%
Sanders …………….. 48.5%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 14
Biden ……………….. 6
Sanders …………….. 8
Caucus: North Dakota does not report caucus turnout figures


Washington (67% reporting – all mail vote)

Biden ……………….. 32.5%
Sanders …………….. 32.7%
Warren ……………… 12.3%
Bloomberg …………. 11.1%
Total First-Ballot Delegates: 89 (projected results)
Biden ……………….. 43
Sanders ……………….. 43
Bloomberg …………. 2
Warren ……………….. 1
Turnout: …………… 1,024,530 (in progress)   |   2016 Turnout: 26,314 (Caucus)


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