May 1, 2012

Who voted in 2011, by party and district

The 2011 Dryden election results startled me. Partly it was the 3-2 Democratic majority, and partly it was the Democratic victories in so many election districts. The final results moderated things a tiny bit, with Republicans reclaiming their utterly solid District 3 by a few votes through absentee ballots, but overall, it was still pretty smashing.

2011 Dryden Supervisor Final Results
1West Dryden163185
2Freeville area206185
6Village of Dryden212199
7E and N of Dryden249177
8Snyder Hill, Rt 7984376
9Ellis Hollow Creek73389
10South Central 177210
11Dryden Lake185219

The part that puzzled me most, though, was the results in Districts 10 and 11. The southeastern corner of the Town is not exactly friendly territory for Democrats, but we carried both districts by substantial margins. That made me wonder how many Republican voters had crossed party lines. I knew of a few who'd told me they did, but was it really a trend?

The Board of Elections voter data does report who voted in which election. Obviously, it doesn't tell you who voted which way, but you can get a sense of how many people of which parties voted in each district.

2011 Voters by Party by District
DistrictDescriptionDem + Green + WFRep + ConBlank, Ind, OtherTotal
1West Dryden127119101347
2Freeville area13818178397
6Village of Dryden13919675410
7E and N of Dryden16119375429
8Snyder Hill, Rt 7926887109464
9Ellis Hollow Creek3117674461
10South Central 15715285394
11Dryden Lake14617683405

I combined the totals for Democrats, Working Families, and Greens, as well as for Republicans and Conservatives, and also Blank, Independence, and Other. It's not a perfect combination, but it makes the math possible.

Next, I compared the vote totals by party to the candidate tallies. (This isn't perfect - 19 people left this line blank, and I think that means I'm missing six people, likely voters who were around for the election but moved afterward.)

Candidate performance compared to party registration
1West Dryden+44+58
2Freeville area+25+47
6Village of Dryden+16+60
7E and N of Dryden+56+16
8Snyder Hill, Rt 79-3+108
9Ellis Hollow Creek-3+78
10South Central +25+53
11Dryden Lake+9+73

Sumner outperformed a raw bet based on party affiliation pretty drastically, but the district-by-district totals are especially interesting. By this score, Schickel outperformed Sumner in only two districts: Dryden 5, Etna, and Dryden 7, the east side of the Village of Dryden to the Virgil line. Sumner outperformed Schickel drastically in the southwest, districts 4, 8, and 9, but that wasn't a big surprise given past history.

The places that really surprised me were, again, the southeast: Districts 10 and especially 11. District 2, Freeville, also saw some outperformance.

Although the result in 11 doesn't go quite so far that I can state categorically that Republicans voted for Democratic candidates there, it's still shocking when 176 Republicans and 146 Democrats vote, and the result total is 185-219.

My guess is that although the southwest corner of Dryden was ready as usual to vote Democratic, residents of Districts 10, 11, and maybe 2 felt their neighborhoods threatened enough by the prospect of fracking to shift their usual voting patterns.

(I started this analysis a while ago, but never got around to publishing it.)

Posted by simon at May 1, 2012 12:19 PM in
Note on photos


Joe Wilson said:

Looks like fracking and the ban changed historic patterns and that says, to me, that it will be harder to win two years from now.

Tonya Engst said:

Simon, I think something is wrong with the words or math here, "it's still shocking when 176 Republicans and 146 Democrats vote, and the result total is 185-219." Somehow, it seems that a lot of people voted who aren't Republicans or Democrats. Or?

It's a case of the math (and words) being technically correct, but, uh, not entirely clear. The "extra" votes come from people registered Blank, Independence, or Other. Still, given that those 'unaffiliated' votes tend to fall along the same lines as the overall total, it's a really strange result.