The All-important Numbers for NY CD-1

Let’s look at the important numbers in NY CD-1.


Table I  (Source: Ballotpedia, based on 2010 census)

Population 720,071
Gender 49.6% Male, 50.4% Female
Race 87.7% White, 4.6% Black, 3.5% Asian
Ethnicity 12.8% Hispanic
Unemployment 6.60%
Median household income $83,144

Nearly 20% are minorities (Black, Asian, or Hispanic). Some Hispanics will call themselves “racially” white, but claim hispanic ethnicity.

Lesson: Don’t count on a huge minority vote because of disgust in Trump’s racial bigotry and Zeldin’s backing of Trump.

Party Affiliation:


Table II

raw numbers percentages
Dems 143,917 30.4
Reps 162,212 34.3
Cons 11,806 2.5
Ind 23,215 4.9
Blank 125,516 26.6
Other 5,985 1.3
Total 472,651 100

Assuming equal voter turn out for each party, and assuming that ‘Independants’, ‘Blanks’ and ‘Other’ break out 50/50 for the Dem versus Rep candidate, Dems can not win.

Assuming all Dems vote Dem and all Reps vote Rep, we still need about 30,000 votes from the Ind, Blanks, Other. And perhaps those 30,000 votes could include some from the Rep/Cons group.

Lesson: This has long been the main point of Tim Bishop whenever he speaks: Dems cannot win in CD-1 with out help from those registered in the red, purple or blank parties.

Voter Turnout

Many are quick to claim that we can win with a high Dem turn out. The so called blue wave expected for 2018. But let’s look seriously at the data. It is the data from prior elections. Ofcourse you can claim that in the Trump era nothing from the past applies. But this is all we have got. So lets look at it.

Table III  (Source: Ballotpedia )

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 1.06.40 AM.png

Column 1 lists the races going back to 2008.

Column 2 tallies the vote numbers for the Dem candidate

Column 3 tallies the vote numbers for the Rep candidate

Column 4 tallies the total votes cast (some voters did not vote for either R or D candidate): notice the much lower numbers for midterm elections in 2010 and 2014.

Column 5 lists the difference between the total votes for D and R candidates: notice the trend from positive numbers (Dem majority) to negative numbers (Rep majority). Our district is becoming more and more red.

Column 6 is the turnout for the Dem candidate*

Column 7 is the turnout for the Rep candidate*

* these numbers are calculated as the votes obtained by the Dem (or Rep) candidate per total number of registered voters. 472,651 is the current number of registered voters. A more accurate estimate would use the total number of registered voters in the indicated year. But it is unlikely to change the data much, as this small error applies to both column 6 and column 7.

Regarding turnout data: note low turnout specially for Dems in 2010 and 2014. Also note a blue wave in 2008 (34% D turnout versus 24% R turnout). And note the massive red wave in 2016 with 28.6% versus 39.9% turnout.

I have made some assumptions, see ‘Assumed 2018’, in Table III:

  • Dem vote numbers and Rep voter turnout might be similar to 2010
  • Dem turnout conservatively estimated to be similar to 2010 (historically this is a high turnout for a midterm election) – however if a country wide blue wave materializes the turn out could be even better
  • I assumed a similar turnout of Rep voters to prior midterm elections, for example 2010. BUT this would mean that roughly half of the voters that voted for Trump/Zeldin in 2016 fail to turn out and vote in 2018. That is probably wishful thinking. National polls suggest that Trumps base is holding stead fast with 35% of Americans approving Trump’s performance. I would expect that to be true in CD-1 too. See also Marc Rauch’s comment below.
  • It is clear from these data that LZ needs his Rep. base to turn out in 2018 and this explains his current turn to the far right, his support for Trumps immigration hawks, like Chief of Staff Kelly, and Stephen Miller in the White house, and his position attacking the FBI along with Devon Nunez etc.
  • Here is another scenario proposed by Marc Rauch:  The 2017 off-off-year elections saw a huge turnout (to some extent attributable to the Con/Con) just for a local election in an odd-numbered year. Democrats in Brookhaven Township rolled up impressive numbers (compared to 2015), but Republicans in Brookhaven Township rolled up even more impressive numbers (compared to 2015) and beat them solidly. This shows the Republican machine in Brookhaven Township is alive and well and this is where 63% of CD-1  voters are. So, 2018 may not be a sleepy off-year Congressional election. Republicans will fight tooth and nail and spend huge sums of money (remember why that tax bill had to pass) to keep control of both houses of Congress. Dems hopefully will fight just as hard or harder to grab the House or Senate and hopefully will be reasonably well-funded. An enormous amount of attention will be focused on the November elections nationally, and it will be more like a presidential election year than an off year in terms of turnout.  The bottom line is, assume high turnout for both Dems and Reps. The fight will be over who can get most of those in the middle to break their way. If this scenario proves correct, we will need 30,000 crossover votes as described above (see Table II).

Bottom line: this will not be a cakewalk.



About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in Brookhaven, Congress, GOP, long island, Politics, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The All-important Numbers for NY CD-1

  1. jtmarlinnyc says:

    This is good.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. KathrynLevy says:

    I have a lot of problems with extrapolating what you and Bishop do from those numbers. 2014 and 2016 were exceptionally bad years for Democrats around the country. And in 2014, centrist Democrats urged the Obama Administration not to antagonize voters by releasing a comprehensive immigration plan before the election. So the Democrats cowered and were soundly defeated across the country. Look at the stunningly low turnout among Democrats for that year on your chart. In 2016, a change election year, the Democrats nominated Clinton, a candidate who was closely identified with the Establishment. She was defeated, with the traditionally Democratic Rust Belt turning against the Democrats, markedly lower African-American turnout, 29% of Latinos voting for Trump, and significant numbers of former Obama voters voting for Trump. And in this CD we nominated a congressional candidate whom I was told, quite confidently by many in the Democratic establishment, would appeal to Republican voters. Instead she seemed to stand for nothing and was soundly defeated. My interpretation is not that the district is turning red but that the Democrat strategy in the past two election cycles has been a disaster. And I feel we are being asked to repeat it. In particular, beware of any candidate who will once again seem to be trying to be all things to all people, who won’t galvanize voters, and who will depress the Latino and African-American vote.

    • My intent is simply to present the numbers. You can interpret them any way you want. Interpreting why certain people lost, because they “seemed to stand for nothing” is pretty subjective in my book. The numbers in column 5 represent a pretty dramatic shift over 5 election cycles (10 years).

      • Kathryn Levy says:

        The same period in which the Democratic Party relied on two things to win votes: 1) reaction to Republican extremism; and 2) Barack Obama’s name on the ballot. The same period during which the Democratic Party lost over 1,000 legislative seats, putting them in the worst position since the 1920s. The Democrats, in terms of both the substantive problems this country urgently needs to address and in terms of politics, needs to actively stand FOR something. Obama’s name won’t magically appear on the ballot again, and over and over saying, effectively, “We’re a better choice than Republicans, but we’re not going to do anything dramatically different to help you,” has proven a losing strategy. But we’re asked once again to repeat it. And by the way, Tim Bishop, who offers such sage electoral advice, is the person who lost the seat to Zeldin. Perhaps we could start to think and act differently?

  3. jgavron says:

    David, Thanks so much for the analysis–incredibly useful. you rock!

    best, Jackie

    On Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 12:23 AM, Resist and Replace wrote:

    > D. Posnett MD posted: “Let’s look at the important numbers in NY CD-1. > Demographics: Table I source: U.S. Census 2010; > > Population 720,071 Gender 49.6% Male, 50.4% Female Race 87.7% White, 4.6% > Black, 3″ >

  4. Carol Williams says:

    Thank you for this analysis! Looks like we need to inspire every Democrat to come out and vote. AND we need the voters who say now, with some justification :”a plague on both your houses” . So what are the issues that truly speak to the lives of Ist District voters? Who is the candidate that can best state those issues simply and eloquently? And present a clear path to addressing them as our Representative? I’m NOT asking for answers on this page!! It’s just that these are the questions that are posed by those figures.

  5. Chris Cory says:

    Terrific basis for analysis we haven’t had in this detail. Impressive. Share with other Dem organizations in CD1? Obviously a springboard for more, as Kathryn’s comment meatily demonstrates. How DO we get from “resistance” to “replace,” from against to what we’re for?

  6. The Independence Party just endorsed Lee Zeldin. There are about 24K registered “I” voters. Assuming 30% turnout for these voters we are talking about 8000 votes. I had assumed that they would break 50/50 for LZ versus the Dem candidate. But now its more likely that they will break 65/35 for LZ (5200 votes for LZ and 2800 votes for the Dem) which is a deficit of 2400 votes. I had predicted a narrow victory by 1000 votes (see Table III). But now it looks more like a narrow loss by 1400 votes! Every little bit counts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s