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  •  Its not really drifting left (0+ / 0-)

    The people who live up there are still voting the same way they have for a while.  I really believe it is the continued growth of SUNY populations where students are voting at college addresses more and more.  

    In the end, it doesn't really matter since votes are votes, but I think we'll continue to see this vote shift for federal races yet still see some pretty Republican down-ballot control upstate.  The college kids tend not to care as much about down-ballot races or even know about the candidates.  I also wonder if this might explain growth in under-votes over time too.

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:04:57 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hardly any SUNY campuses... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, bumiputera

      up that far north.

      Obviously the community colleges don't have a residential component.  The enrollment of the others is:

      Canton Tech - 3,320
      Potsdam - 4,338
      Plattsburgh - 6,214

      Keep in mind all these colleges are lower-tier institutions (state/technical colleges), where the vast majority of students are probably drawn from nearby counties, so the alteration of voting patterns is probably minimal.

      •  I'm not sure you're right (4+ / 0-)

        I've never heard of Canton Tech, but Potsdam is a reputable school in at least some disciplines (for example, their Crane School of Music is probably second - albeit a distant second - to Purchase's among the undergraduate music programs in the SUNY system), and a friend of mine from the Bronx went to SUNY-Plattsburgh. She said it was a party school, but so was SUNY at Purchase when I was there, and some serious learning was also happening there.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:33:10 AM PST

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        •  I applied to SUNY Buffalo... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Back in the 90s when I graduated from HS, and at that time, only 15% of their student body was drawn from downstate.  I would presume except for very specific programs it would be less at most of the lower-tier state universities.  

          •  Your presumption (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            May or may not be right in the time period you quote (it can't be right over longer time frames).  But the SUNY population has grown WAY faster than the overall population in upstate NY, so the impact of SUNY by definition has had to grow hugely.  

            I mean Erie County (Biffalo) showed -3% population growth from 2000-10, but UB enrollment grew 10%.  Where could these people have come from?

            These graphics are pretty neat; you can see that upstate around plattsburgh/canton has the lowest percentage of population with college degrees in the state, so it's probably likely that the growth in these schools could be coming from downstate (of course it also could be other reasons, none of which seem provable or disprovable)

            http://apb.buffalo.edu/...

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:21:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's funny (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, bumiputera

          I bet you every Potsdam student thinks their music school is the best.  I think probably over half of upstate NY music teachers are from Potsdam.  They touted the school even in my elementary music classes.

          But more to the political point, I'd guess a huge chunk of every SUNY school is from downstate, though certain schools will have more locals than others.  Also, community colleges throughout upstate NY are increasing doing residential dorms for non-locals.  Heck SUNY Adirondack (renamed from Adirondack Community College) is in the process of not only building dorms but going from a 2-year to a 4-year school.

          SUNY schools are so frigging cheap the schools will continue to grow so long as the infrastructure can handle it, even for out-of-state the tuition to a SUNY Albany/Binghamton/Buffalo/Stony Brook is like $15K.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:52:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I mean the totality of upstate NY (0+ / 0-)

        Technically there's not much of anything in NY-21 :-)

        But the number and growth of SUNY schools is probably the biggest shifter of the vote.  The local level races still favor the GO.  Bill Owens/NY-21 overlaps with 5 or 6 state assembly distrcicts that I think are all GOP held and 3 or 4 Senate districts, with only 1 being Dem held and that's because it barely overlaps with owens in part of Saratoga County.

        Attitudes towards government haven't changed much in the area.  Everyone over the age of 30 I saw at Christmas was deranged against gun control, hating Obama and believing the fiscal cliff was actually real and mass layoffs were coming to every company on earth.  It's the growth of non-local voters driving a lot of the change, and since there's not a huge amount of permanent in-migration to this area, what else could it be?

        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

        by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:42:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ...This argument (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, redrelic17

          Is the exact same thing as Republicans saying "the real Virginia". These are members of their communities. The drift left is real and it really does not matter any ounce whatsoever that the growth is being driven by college enrollment increases as you say (something, by the way, that I disagree with completely).

          23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

          by wwmiv on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:59:42 AM PST

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          •  I'm not saying (0+ / 0-)

            They aren't members of their communities, I'm just saying that I don't think there is as much of a trend amongst the prior population as I'm saying there is a changing trend in population swings.  

            If anything, I think what's happening is quite akin to Virginia, except much of the migration is within the state, whereas viriginia is acually a growing population.

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:24:03 AM PST

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        •  I have a co-worker who lives in Upper Jay... (4+ / 0-)

          And she says Clinton/Essex/Franklin/Saint Lawrence have essentially become "West Vermont" over the last 20 years.  This is most evident in Plattsburgh itself, but it's happened throughout the counties.  Obama won these four counties by over a 20% margin, whereas he lost the remainder of NY-21 slightly (Romney 50.6%, Obama 47.6%).  Still, the shift from 2008 was to the left in virtually every county in the district (Romney only did better than McCain in Warren, and maybe the portion of Saratoga in the district), so something broader was afoot this time.  

          I wouldn't take down-ticket races as indicative of anything for the time being.  We've seen in many cases that realignment tends to go from President, to U.S. House, to U.S. Senate/Governor, then to state legislature.  

          •  I think we'll know more (0+ / 0-)

            In 2016 (in a non-Clinton race, if Clinton runs she'll probably win upstate NY by 40 points).  Obama has had a particular ability and had 2 terrible opponents, so maybe the effect is real and just amplified.  

            I just find it hard to believe that all these old white people suddenly became more Democratic when they continue to vote GOP at every level of govt except federal.  

            I understand that it sometimes trickles down, but when I see Plattsburgh with a 70%+ elected GOP mayor, Clinton County board with 70% GOP configuration, and the area with all GOP assembly and Senate representation, I'm just not sure the drift left is real.  With obama's big wins, I'd expect something good for Dem's down-ballot.

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:39:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wasn't the transition similar in Vermont? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ArkDem14

              I mean, yeah, Bernie Sanders was Mayor of Burlington, and he's a socialist, but considering that Vermont used to be a bastion of moderate Republicans, Vermonters were much more apt to vote for local Republicans than national Republicans when the latter became too conservative (especially socially conservative) for their liking.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:45:38 AM PST

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              •  I don't really know (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                But I'd have thought that national Republicans being too conservative would have hit Vermont and upstate NY at relatively the same time (i.e. neither area is all that socially conservative, and certainly there isn't anything akin to a bible belt) but it seems NY is on a bit of a delay.  

                NY has been voting Dem for President and Senators for much longer than VT (I think Leahy is till the only Dem ever elected in VT).  So I'm not sure why the Dems have suddenly been romping in upstate NY for president but still no trickle-down anywhere else really.

                I think telephasic's post below explains a lot of it, but i still don't quite get why it happened as quickly and boldly as it did.  While I get sometimes realigments happen in waves (i.e. the GOP takeover of the South in 2002), upstate NY has seen almost no aggregate population change the last 10-15 years so waves seem less explainable.

                Oh well.

                "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:04:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  New York State as a whole (0+ / 0-)

                  has been voting Democratic for Senator and other state-wide offices more often than not for a while, but that's because New York City and close-in suburbs in Westchester are so Democratic. Upstate has been part of the reason Republicans have controlled the Senate, though gerrymandering is lately the main reason.

                  I don't know why Upstate has been slower to change than Vermont, but I'm suggesting that the process may be a similar one.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:16:09 AM PST

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                  •  Ok (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY

                    And I'm suggesting that the improvment from 2004 to 2008 to 2012 seems to break that slow trend at the top of the ticket but not the bottom, and i'm trying to figure out why.

                    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                    by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:26:15 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I think it's been slower to change (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY, telephasic, gabjoh

                    because of geographic politics; the need to stay with the GOP locally to maintain influence since Democrats dominate NYC where most of the state's money and influence is. Cut off upstate New York and I think these areas become a lot more like Vermont pretty quickly.

                    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                    by ArkDem14 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:12:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  upstate has always been more conservative (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY

                      then the areas in Western Massachusetts and Vermont then it borders. McEwen and Solomon were well to the right of their next door neighbors (Jeffords and Conte).

                      RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

                      by demographicarmageddon on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:07:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Western MA has undergone a world of change (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MichaelNY

                        since Olver became the first Democrat to represent it ever in 1990.

                        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                        by ArkDem14 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:47:41 PM PST

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        •  My inlaws are from Mooers (0+ / 0-)

          and while many of the younger generation have left the area, the folks that remain are died-in-the-wool Democrats. Yes. They oppose most gun control. Many see that as city folks trying to impose their values on country dweller. However, they support Obama and gay marriage.

          You paint with a very broad brush.

    •  Okay... (8+ / 0-)

      I took a look at Obama's absolute percentage increase by two-party vote from 2008 to 2012.  This is not PVI, just measuring his 2008 to 2012 numbers.  By PVI, Obama did better in every single county.

      Essex: 2.78%
      Franklin:1.99%
      Clinton: 1.39%
      Jefferson: 1.35%
      Herkimer (pt) 0.65%
      Washington: 0.56%
      Hamilton: 0.47%
      Saratoga (pt) 0.26%
      St Lawrence: 0.22%
      Lewis: 0.02%
      Warren: -0.16%
      Fulton: -0.98%

      I bolded the two counties which have major SUNY schools (Canton and Potsdam are both in St Lawrence).  While both showed leftward shifts, they weren't much different from the rest of their region.  Clinton was less than neighboring Franklin and Essex, and Saint Lawrence was less than nearby Jefferson, Hamilton, or Herkimer, but more than Lewis.  

      Obama had less votes in 2012 than in 2008 in every single county, but Romney also had less votes than McCain in every single county.  In all but three counties, however (Fulton, St. Lawrence, and Warren) Obama's vote totals declined by less.  So maybe it's not so much that voters are realigning to Republicans, as it is Republicans are dying off faster, and no one is replacing them.  

      •  Brilliant work (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, David Nir

        Perhaps your last sentence explains it more than anything.  

        For every 80+ year-old white person who dies in upstate NY, the replacement is probably only 90% white and maybe 70% GOP and so on.  Whether it's from a student at a SUNY school or the dying person's "more enlightened" grandchild is irrelevant I suppose.

        It just seems that the pickup 2004 to 2008 to 2012 has seemed a little too rapid to be explained by this (in upstate NY total), as Kerry barely won it and then Obama has won it quite comfortably twice.  I guess I'm used to slower realignments.

        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

        by rdw72777 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:57:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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