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Author Topic: Political Regions of New York State  (Read 2217 times)
АverroŽs Nix
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« on: April 21, 2012, 12:43:37 pm »
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Started working on this for AtariDem's thread on the Presidential Election Trends Board, but by the time that I'd finished I decided that it didn't really fit there. Numbers are from DRA.


Political Regions of New York State


1. The City
Population: 7,706,000
81% Obama, 18% McCain
31% Wh, 24% Bl, 29% Hisp, 13% Asn, 3% Oth
Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, & the Bronx
Solid D. Diverse. Home to some of the state's most prominent politicians. Statewide capital for fundraising, media, education, and culture.

2. New York City Suburbs & Exurbs
Population: 5,592,000
55% Obama, 45% McCain
67% Wh, 10% Bl, 16% Hisp, 5% Asn, 2% Oth
Long Island, Staten Island, & the Lower Hudson Valley.
Leans D. Wealthy. Educated. Home to most of the state's prominent politicians. Republicans need to win by a large margin here to win the state.

3. Eastern New York
Central New York, Capital Region, & Leatherstocking Region
Population: 2,970,000
54% Obama, 45% McCain
86% Wh, 5% Bl, 4% Hisp, 3% Asn, 2% Oth
Leans D. Solid D cities, lean D to toss-up suburbs, and toss-up to lean R rural areas. Overall political atmosphere of moderation. Note: Obama underperformed in much of this region.

4. Northern New York
Northern Adirondacks
Population: 285,000
59% Obama, 40% McCain
91% Wh, 3% Bl, 2% Hisp, 1% Asn, 2%, Nat, 1% Oth
Solid D. Rural. Isolated. Socially & economically integrated with neighboring Vermont & Canada, and votes like it.

5. Western New York

Buffalo, Rochester, & the Southern Tier
Population: 2,825,000
53% Obama, 45% McCain
82% Wh, 10% Bl, 5% Hisp, 2% Asn, 2% Oth
Toss-up. Politically isolated (and alienated) from rest of state. Rural areas are the most Republican in New York.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 03:15:57 pm by AverroŽs Nix »Logged

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Dentures, for instance, is something Medicaid recipients could live without, Astorino suggested in the interview.

When asked how someone without dentures could eat, Astorino flippantly replied with a laugh, ďSoup is good.Ē
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 12:58:34 pm »
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Solid D. Rural. Isolated. Socially & economically integrated with neighboring Vermont & Canada, and votes like it.


Heh. Except the part of Ontario it borders is rather Conservative.  But I wonder, are the people up there in northern New York really left wing?  Eastern Ontario is rather conservative, but I can see the people there supporting Democrats, because well, it's Canada...
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АverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 01:22:29 pm »
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Solid D. Rural. Isolated. Socially & economically integrated with neighboring Vermont & Canada, and votes like it.


Heh. Except the part of Ontario it borders is rather Conservative.  But I wonder, are the people up there in northern New York really left wing?  Eastern Ontario is rather conservative, but I can see the people there supporting Democrats, because well, it's Canada...

My impression has always been that it's more closely linked with QC. About 1/4 to 1/3 of the population in each of those four counties reports French or French Canadian ancestry. Consider also the major transportation arteries (e.g. Route 87, the Seaway) and proximity to Montreal.

As for why these voters support Democrats so heavily - that's harder to say. The area has several colleges (which help), but some agricultural and manufacturing-oriented communities with low levels of educational attainment are also among the most Democratic.
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Dentures, for instance, is something Medicaid recipients could live without, Astorino suggested in the interview.

When asked how someone without dentures could eat, Astorino flippantly replied with a laugh, ďSoup is good.Ē
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 02:12:47 pm »
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I guess they're also in the Montreal media market?
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 02:45:53 pm »

Syracuse is much more like Rochester than like Albany. I wouldn't let the political intensity of Ithaca affect the more natural division between east and west. I would move the line so that Herkimer, Otsego and Delaware are in the west, which would still be 53% Obama.

In the east I would put Poughkeepsie with the Capital Region. I'd be tempted to go all the way to Newburgh and it would still be 54% Obama.

Edit: I would also separate the northern suburban counties of Westchester and Rockland which vote 61% Obama from suburban LI which is 53% Obama.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 03:13:53 pm by muon2 »Logged


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АverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 03:40:37 pm »
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Syracuse is much more like Rochester than like Albany. I wouldn't let the political intensity of Ithaca affect the more natural division between east and west. I would move the line so that Herkimer, Otsego and Delaware are in the west, which would still be 53% Obama.

The city is more like Rochester, but its suburbs and hinterlands are more like Albany's. Also, politics in Central New York are not as driven by resentment of Downstate and Albany, a distinction that I wanted to capture. In terms of national election results, though, you're making the better call.

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In the east I would put Poughkeepsie with the Capital Region. I'd be tempted to go all the way to Newburgh and it would still be 54% Obama.

This sounds defensible. I was following media market boundaries and taking into account the large number of NYC-oriented commuters who live in Dutchess County (including those who are merely commuting from exurb to suburb). Educational attainment and median household income in Dutchess are more characteristic of NYC suburbs than the fairly rural Mid-Hudson, too. (The best boundary probably runs through the county, separating the Poughkeepsie area from the more rural north.)

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Edit: I would also separate the northern suburban counties of Westchester and Rockland which vote 61% Obama from suburban LI which is 53% Obama.

A good solution - my version of the suburban region contained an awkward variety of places. Though this is another case in which splitting counties would make things work better; southern Westchester is very different from Northern Westchester. Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and New Rochelle would probably fit better into the NYC region.
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Quote
Dentures, for instance, is something Medicaid recipients could live without, Astorino suggested in the interview.

When asked how someone without dentures could eat, Astorino flippantly replied with a laugh, ďSoup is good.Ē
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 04:56:12 pm »

In the east I would put Poughkeepsie with the Capital Region. I'd be tempted to go all the way to Newburgh and it would still be 54% Obama.

This sounds defensible. I was following media market boundaries and taking into account the large number of NYC-oriented commuters who live in Dutchess County (including those who are merely commuting from exurb to suburb). Educational attainment and median household income in Dutchess are more characteristic of NYC suburbs than the fairly rural Mid-Hudson, too. (The best boundary probably runs through the county, separating the Poughkeepsie area from the more rural north.)


Even though there are a lot of commuters in Orange and Dutchess to points south, the principal cities in those counties still come across more like Schenectady (cf median income) than anything in Westchester or Rockland. In terms of their vote, Orange, Dutchess (and Putnam, too) are a better match to the counties that surround Albany than to NYC or its adjacent counties.
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 10:31:46 pm »
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Even though there are a lot of commuters in Orange and Dutchess to points south, the principal cities in those counties still come across more like Schenectady (cf median income) than anything in Westchester or Rockland. In terms of their vote, Orange, Dutchess (and Putnam, too) are a better match to the counties that surround Albany than to NYC or its adjacent counties.

Taking Orange, Putnam and Dutchess Counties out of the NYC suburbs category would be like not considering Kane, Kendall and McHenry Counties as Chicago collar counties.  They share the New York City media market, are linked to NYC via suburban commuter rail and pay for it through tax surcharges.   That they vote less Democratic than the core suburban counties is a feature of being part of exurbia - and a pattern also seen elsewhere.

Sullivan and Ulster Counties are always closer calls.  They are part of the NYC TV market but lack the direct rail links and increased tax burden.   I tend to lump them in with the NYC suburbs due to the shared media market, but arguments to the contrary make more sense than they do for Orange, Putnam or Dutchess.
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 11:01:26 pm »

Even though there are a lot of commuters in Orange and Dutchess to points south, the principal cities in those counties still come across more like Schenectady (cf median income) than anything in Westchester or Rockland. In terms of their vote, Orange, Dutchess (and Putnam, too) are a better match to the counties that surround Albany than to NYC or its adjacent counties.

Taking Orange, Putnam and Dutchess Counties out of the NYC suburbs category would be like not considering Kane, Kendall and McHenry Counties as Chicago collar counties.  They share the New York City media market, are linked to NYC via suburban commuter rail and pay for it through tax surcharges.   That they vote less Democratic than the core suburban counties is a feature of being part of exurbia - and a pattern also seen elsewhere.

Sullivan and Ulster Counties are always closer calls.  They are part of the NYC TV market but lack the direct rail links and increased tax burden.   I tend to lump them in with the NYC suburbs due to the shared media market, but arguments to the contrary make more sense than they do for Orange, Putnam or Dutchess.

Based on my reading of the Census data, then perhaps one can claim an equivalence between McHenry and Orange, though Orange is not showing nearly as much suburban/exurban growth as McHenry. Orange strikes me more as a next tier county like Boone or Kankakee. Even assuming an equivalence between Orange and McHenry, Dutchess is more equivalent to Winnebago in terms of distance and media. That puts it in an in-between position and since we are looking at political factors here, I'd still argue for it in a larger Hudson Valley region.
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2012, 12:55:57 am »
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Based on my reading of the Census data, then perhaps one can claim an equivalence between McHenry and Orange, though Orange is not showing nearly as much suburban/exurban growth as McHenry. Orange strikes me more as a next tier county like Boone or Kankakee. Even assuming an equivalence between Orange and McHenry, Dutchess is more equivalent to Winnebago in terms of distance and media. That puts it in an in-between position and since we are looking at political factors here, I'd still argue for it in a larger Hudson Valley region.

Dutchess may be equivalent to Winnebago in distance, but it is not equivalent to Winnebego County in media.  Winnebego County is the center of the Rockford TV market.  Dutchess County doesn't have its own TV market, but is in the New York City TV market.  It along with Orange does have its own radio market, as the NYC signals don't make it out that far.  Census also puts Dutchess and Orange in its own MSA, but they are part of the larger NYC CMSA.

The main difference between Orange and Dutchess and Boone or Kankakee is that the New York counties are at the terminus of NYC commuter rail lines - Dutchess perhaps even more so than Orange, as their lines go into Grand Central Terminal, not Hoboken, NJ.  That's one major reason why I liken them more to McHenry or Kane, which are linked to Chicago by commuter rail.  Another difference is that there is plenty of empty space for the Chicago exurbs to grow in southern Will and western McHenry Counties before reaching into Boone or Kankakee.  There isn't in New York.   The seemingly empty space in between the inner suburban NY counties and outer exurbs is either state parkland (Northern Rockland County) or in the NYC watershed (Putnam County), not leaving much space for growth other than through increased density until you reach Orange and Dutchess.

Orange and Dutchess also don't have much in common with Albany.  I doubt there's much commuting from Dutchess to Albany or its suburbs and there aren't nearly as many people working for the state government as in the Albany area.
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 02:38:29 pm »

Based on my reading of the Census data, then perhaps one can claim an equivalence between McHenry and Orange, though Orange is not showing nearly as much suburban/exurban growth as McHenry. Orange strikes me more as a next tier county like Boone or Kankakee. Even assuming an equivalence between Orange and McHenry, Dutchess is more equivalent to Winnebago in terms of distance and media. That puts it in an in-between position and since we are looking at political factors here, I'd still argue for it in a larger Hudson Valley region.

Dutchess may be equivalent to Winnebago in distance, but it is not equivalent to Winnebego County in media.  Winnebego County is the center of the Rockford TV market.  Dutchess County doesn't have its own TV market, but is in the New York City TV market.  It along with Orange does have its own radio market, as the NYC signals don't make it out that far.  Census also puts Dutchess and Orange in its own MSA, but they are part of the larger NYC CMSA.

The main difference between Orange and Dutchess and Boone or Kankakee is that the New York counties are at the terminus of NYC commuter rail lines - Dutchess perhaps even more so than Orange, as their lines go into Grand Central Terminal, not Hoboken, NJ.  That's one major reason why I liken them more to McHenry or Kane, which are linked to Chicago by commuter rail.  Another difference is that there is plenty of empty space for the Chicago exurbs to grow in southern Will and western McHenry Counties before reaching into Boone or Kankakee.  There isn't in New York.   The seemingly empty space in between the inner suburban NY counties and outer exurbs is either state parkland (Northern Rockland County) or in the NYC watershed (Putnam County), not leaving much space for growth other than through increased density until you reach Orange and Dutchess.

Orange and Dutchess also don't have much in common with Albany.  I doubt there's much commuting from Dutchess to Albany or its suburbs and there aren't nearly as many people working for the state government as in the Albany area.

I understand what you are saying from a community-of-interest standpoint. What I was trying to do was respond to the OP and look at the area from a political standpoint. In terms of socioeconomics translating into voting, Orange and Dutchess are more like the counties to their north than the ones to the south.
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 11:47:50 pm »
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Very interesting regional breakdown.
While the northeast went strongly for Obama, isn't there also a long Republican tradition there, with parts of NY-23 never being represented by  Democrat for congressional races until the 2009 special election? I imagine some of this is comparable to the late Republican tradition in Vermont, but there's also some places like Hamilton to the south that went strongly for McCain.
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 11:50:11 pm »
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3 of these regions have pretty much identical margins, and 1 of them is sort of small. Just saying.

Very interesting regional breakdown.
While the northeast went strongly for Obama, isn't there also a long Republican tradition there, with parts of NY-23 never being represented by  Democrat for congressional races until the 2009 special election? I imagine some of this is comparable to the late Republican tradition in Vermont, but there's also some places like Hamilton to the south that went strongly for McCain.

Hamilton county has almost never voted Democrat. They did vote for LBJ, though.
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 11:52:57 pm »
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IIRC NY would be only D+1 without NYC-Staten, and Illinois would be R+4 without Chicago...
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 11:59:25 pm »
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3 of these regions have pretty much identical margins, and 1 of them is sort of small. Just saying.

True, but this classification is meant to reflect regional political culture and statewide political divides more than Presidential voting returns.

The small region (Northern NY) is isolated from the rest of the state and really does tend to vote differently - 59% Obama in a region without any major cities is unusual.

Eastern NY and Western NY have similar 2008 Presidential results, but Democratic strength in Western NY is far more driven by the urban centers and Republicans are significantly stronger in rural and suburban areas.
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Dentures, for instance, is something Medicaid recipients could live without, Astorino suggested in the interview.

When asked how someone without dentures could eat, Astorino flippantly replied with a laugh, ďSoup is good.Ē
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2012, 04:21:21 pm »
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Started working on this for AtariDem's thread on the Presidential Election Trends Board, but by the time that I'd finished I decided that it didn't really fit there. Numbers are from DRA.


Political Regions of New York State


1. The City
Population: 7,706,000
81% Obama, 18% McCain
31% Wh, 24% Bl, 29% Hisp, 13% Asn, 3% Oth
Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, & the Bronx
Solid D. Diverse. Home to some of the state's most prominent politicians. Statewide capital for fundraising, media, education, and culture.


the only way the Republicans can win anything is by winning big in Southern Brooklyn and Central -Northern Queens.
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2012, 01:40:27 am »
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Syracuse is much more like Rochester than like Albany. I wouldn't let the political intensity of Ithaca affect the more natural division between east and west. I would move the line so that Herkimer, Otsego and Delaware are in the west, which would still be 53% Obama.

In the east I would put Poughkeepsie with the Capital Region. I'd be tempted to go all the way to Newburgh and it would still be 54% Obama.

Edit: I would also separate the northern suburban counties of Westchester and Rockland which vote 61% Obama from suburban LI which is 53% Obama.

Except that that 61% of yours is an average of three times the size Westchester's 63% Obama and the Rockland runt's 53% Obama, making Rockland the most Pub of them all. Smiley Naughty!  Rockland trended pretty heavily Pub as I recall in 2008.  All those Orthodox Jews ... one assumes perhaps.

Fascinating conversation by the way guys.  I read it all transfixed. You're all just fabulous. Thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 09:50:15 am »
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You recall wrongly. Big swing in 2004 though.
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