Democrat Hochul Prevails in NY-26 Special Election
Much will be made of tonight’s result in New York’s 26th Congressional District, but in the end, it’s just another special election with results specific to that district and the needs and voting patterns of that particular constituency.
Before tonight’s election, New York’s 26th District had a Cook Political Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of R+6, indicating a Republican-leaning district.
Erie County Clerk Kathleen “Kathy” Hochul is now the Representative-elect for the 26th Congressional District of the State of New York. Oddly, Hochul does not even live in the district she represents, and therefore could not vote for herself.
The seat was opened when its former occupant, Republican Chris Lee, abruptly resigned after it was revealed he had sent a shirtless photo to a woman who was not his wife.
At this writing, with 607⁄627 precincts in, Hochul has 48,530 votes (47%), Republican Jane Corwin has 43,836 (43%), and potential spoiler and perennial grumpy old man candidate Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party line, is at 9,495 (9%). Green Party Candidate Ian Murphy received 1,130 votes (1%). It looks like Davis voters had little impact on the outcome of the election, since it was not clear whether Davis would drain votes from Hochul or Corwin but probably didn’t pull more than 3⁄4 of his votes from either.
These results are in good alignment with the polls, as reported by Michael Weiss earlier. The Siena College poll had Hochul at 42%, Corwin at 38%, and Davis at 12%. In the contemporaneous Public Policy Polling data, Hochul was at 44%, Corwin at 38%, and Davis at 13%.
Tellingly, the voters polled by PPP held a 51%/37% favorable/unfavorable view of Hochul. Views of Corwin were negative, at 34/52, and even more so for Davis, at 23⁄62. Under those circumstances, it was clearly hard for Corwin to gain much traction with the 13% of voters who had not yet made up their mind about her in the PPP poll. (President Obama has a 42% approve, 51% disapprove rating in the same population, so this is not a particularly Democrat-friendly group.)
About a fifth of the voters in the Siena College poll named Medicare as the most important issue affecting their voting preference.
While pundits on both sides will try to make much of this, my read of the numbers says that Hochul was simply better liked by the voters than Corwin.
It appears that as predicted by Nate Silver, many of Davis’ voters abandoned his hopeless campaign at the last minute.
- NY23 Redux? (logarchism.com)
- New York 26 Looks to Have Gone Democratic (538refugees.wordpress.com)
- Preview of NY26 Special Election (logarchism.com)
- Democrat Hochul Wins NY-26, Spelling Doom for Republican Plans to Kill Medicare (slog.thestranger.com)
- Democrat Kathy Hochul wins upstate NY race — Reuters (news.google.com)
- Democrat Hochul wins closely watched N.Y. election (marketwatch.com)
- Hochul Wins in NY-26: Dems Claim a Medicare Scalp as GOP Points to Special Circumstances (swampland.time.com)
- Voters Head to the Polls in NY-26 Special Election (themoderatevoice.com)
- “New York Special Election Has Kathy Hochul Facing Off Against Jane Corwin” and related posts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Is NY-26 Really Just A Referendum On Medicare? The Mainstream Media Seems To Think So (mediaite.com)