Take Back Congress - New York

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a quick article discussing the fact that, in spite of prideful claims by Oneida County Democrats that nobody can win the 24th District Democratic nomination without winning Oneida County, Oneida County actually contains a minority of the Democrats in the 24th District.

The article clearly upset many Oneida Democrats, but facts are facts. In order for a Democrat to win the 24th District Democratic nomination, the best bet for a Democrat is to reach out beyond the borders of Oneida County. A Democrat like Michael Arcuri or Leon Koziol could easily win the nomination contest in Oneida County and lose the district.

A lot of people seem to forget that there is no electoral college for this primary race. A Democrat who gets the majority of votes in a county does NOT seize all the votes for that county. If Les Roberts, for example, got just 20 percent of the votes in Oneida County, all those votes would remain with him, even if Mike Arcuri got over 50 percent of the Oneida County vote. Then, by getting a majority of the vote in most of the rest of the counties in the 24th District, Les Roberts could coast to an easy primary victory over Arcuri, in spite of the loyalty of Oneida County Democrats to their local guy.

As I've pointed out at the local blog Finding Ulysses, high turnout in counties other than Oneida can easily counter for the Oneida Democrats' raw weight. Typically, less than ten percent of voters actually turn out for a primary election, so organized turnout efforts can turn presumptions inside out. It's a matter of simple math, but some Oneida County Democrats seem unable to grasp it. Let me provide the information about distribution of Democrats in New York's 24th District, then, in text and graphic form, to make it plain.

24th district democrats new york

Broome County: 6.7 percent of district Democrats
Cayuga County: 12.3 percent of district Democrats
Chenango County: 6.5 percent of district Democrats
Cortland County: 7.5 percent of district Democrats
Herkimer County: 8.9 percent of district Democrats
Oneida County: 30.9 percent of district Democrats
Ontario County: 3.7 percent of district Democrats
Otsego County: 6.8 percent of district Democrats
Seneca County: 5.2 percent of district Democrats
Tioga County: 2.4 percent of district Democrats
Tompkins County: 9 percent of district Democrats

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