Special Election Bracket Busters

Cinderella stories are common in March, but what about in April?

On April 24 the state’s political season kicks off with special elections from Long Island to Buffalo. There will be 11 potential upsets, with nine Assembly races and two in the state Senate.

Most eyes are on the 37th Senate District because it’s viewed as a pivotal battleground for control of the state Senate. The district leans Democratic, but Republicans are hoping they can wrestle back control and pad their majority. Michael Lawler, campaign manager for Republican hopeful Julie Killian, joined the podcast to talk about their path to an upset victory.

The Assembly seats could also be ripe for surprise victories, as was the case in last spring’s special election on Long Island. Melinda Person, political director for NYSUT, came on the show to talk about the possibility of repeating that win on a larger scale.

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Meet the Special Election Voters

Forecasting a special election is hard, but picking up the pieces is (comparatively) easy.

With that principle in mind, I’m looking to last spring’s special election in the 9th Assembly District for insights into the upcoming special elections, with a particular interest in the neighboring Long Island Assembly districts. This data can also test the model that I proposed to determine the voters who will show up in the race to fill George Latimer’s senate seat.

The voters that turned out in last year’s special election, which was an upset victory for Democrat Christine Pellegrino, were older and more Democratic than the electorate in the district.

It’s not particularly surprising to see that seniors made up a disproportionate share of the turnout last year, as they historically represent a large share of the vote in low turnout elections, such as primary and special elections. Continue reading “Meet the Special Election Voters”

The Republican Case for Westchester

The conventional wisdom regarding the race to fill George Latimer’s vacant senate seat is that Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer has the edge in a special election this spring.

Democrats have a large enrollment edge in the district, enthusiasm nationally is on their side and Mayer is a household name in part of the county. But there is hope for Julie Killian and Republicans – and it comes from the makeup of special election voters.

Special elections are notoriously hard to poll because it’s difficult to accurately predict who will vote. (This was covered in a previous episode of Poozer Politics.) But it’s not impossible to sketch a pretty good picture of what the electorate will look like. Continue reading “The Republican Case for Westchester”

The Women’s March to Office

If 1992 was the “Year of the Woman,” then 2018 has the potential to be the Year of Women.

Since the first Women’s March, following the inauguration of President  Donald Trump, there has been an obvious uptick in female participation in politics. More women are getting involved in political campaigns and there is the potential for a record of number female candidates for Congress.

Libby Post, of Capital Women, Amanda Farias, of New American Leaders, and Brette McSweeney, of Eleanor’s Legacy, joined Poozer Politics to talk about the obstacles that have prevented women from running in the past, the recruitment of candidates and preparing female candidates for campaigns. Continue reading “The Women’s March to Office”

Last of the Manhattan Republicans

Republican elected officials from Manhattan once walked the halls of the Capitol.

The last of this dying breed was John Ravitz, who represented the Upper East Side in the Assembly between 1991 and 2002, when he lost a special election for state senate and walked away from public office.

Ravitz joined Poozer Politics to talk about his upset victory for the Assembly in 1990, the mistakes of his campaign for state senate and his place in today’s Republican Party. The conversation also explored his decision to step away from public office after he found himself on the wrong side of a leadership fight in the minority conference.

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