NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pole position in 2008

The election ballots in NY State are laid out based on which party controls the governor's mansion up in Albany. With Elliot Spitzer easing walking into that position, Democrats have now picked up the first column on the ballot. That means when voters head into their polling booths in Nov. 2008 they will see the Democratic nominee in column A and Rep. Vito Fossella in column B. However the implications could be much more drastic.

In a NYTimes op-ed piece on November 4, 2006, Jon A. Krosnick wrote a piece called "In the Voting Booth, Bias Starts at the Top." In his piece he asserts;

Candidates listed first on the ballot get about two percentage points more votes on average than they would have if they had been listed later (flipping a 49 to 51 defeat into a 51 to 49 victory). In fact, in about half the races I have studied, the advantage of first place is even bigger — certainly big enough to win some elections these days.

How do we know this? Well, consider this: In California’s 80 Assembly districts, candidate name order is randomly assigned. In 1996, Bill Clinton’s vote tally was 4 percentage points higher in the Assembly districts where he was listed first than in the ones where he was listed last — a difference that persisted even after we took into account pre-existing Democratic registration levels in the districts.

In 2008, unless there are some major changes, voters are going to walk into their polling locations and see a Democrat listed ahead of Fossella. If that voter turned out like they do once every four years to vote for President and move on, they have a much higher likelihood that they will vote for the Democratic challenger.

Monday we explained the PVI and how Rep. Fossella is in the 12th most Democratic leaning district of all the Republicans in Congress.

Tuesday we discussed the getting out the vote effort needed in 2008, and that based on 2004 numbers we could be starting out with 45% of the vote, based solely on if Democratic Presidential voters, also are encouraged to vote down ticket for this Congressional race.

Wednesday, today, we see that the Democratic challenger could go into November 08 with a theoretical ~2% advantage.

Rep. Vito Fossella is looking more and more like an endangered Republican. Time to bring on a challenger, it is April after all.


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