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On May 24, 2011, many a political junkie will have their eyes fixated on the NY-26 race. As usual, most results in this race will probably be reported by county. This district, based in the "GLOW" suburbs of Rochester and Buffalo, contains parts of Niagara, Orleans, Erie, and Monroe counties, as well as all of Livingston, Genesee, and Wyoming counties (three letters of GLOW). In 2008, the Erie portion of the district (about 30% of the district's total population) narrowly voted for Obama, but the rest of the district went strongly Republican, leading the district to vote 52-46 McCain overall.

To win the district, Hochul will obviously have to outperform Obama. As Erie was the only county in the district to vote for Obama and Hochul is an elected official there, it's probably fair to assume it will be Hochul's best county. Erie is Hochul's home, although she actually lives in the NY-27 portion of it. Jack Davis and Jane Corwin live in the NY-26 portion of Erie, but it's hard to imagine them winning here, unless Corwin wins by an unexpectedly large margin.

For an analysis of how each county has voted for Congress over the past decade, read on.

In this diary, I will analyze the county-by-county results for each county in every NY-26 congressional race for the past decade. My goal is to look at the trends in each county and determine what we should be looking for on Tuesday night.

Without further ado, I present the data.

2002
District: Republican 74, Democrat 22, Other 4

Erie: Republican 68, Democrat 27, Other 5
Genesee: Republican 81, Democrat 16, Other 3
Livingston: Republican 78, Democrat 19, Other 3
Monroe: Republican 75, Democrat 21, Other 4
Niagara: Republican 70, Democrat 24, Other 6
Orleans: Republican 78, Democrat 18, Other 4
Wyoming: Republican 83, Democrat 14, Other 3

Comments: Democrat did best in Erie, worst in Wyoming. Both candidates were from Erie

2004
District: Republican 56, Democrat 44

Erie: Republican 52, Democrat 48
Genesee: Republican 59, Democrat 41
Livingston: Republican 62, Democrat 38
Monroe: Republican 61, Democrat 39
Niagara: Republican 49, Democrat 51
Orleans: Republican 58, Democrat 42
Wyoming: Republican 67, Democrat 33

Comments: The first appearance of Crazy Jack Davis! Despite being from Erie, his best county was Niagara, where he narrowly won. Once again, Tom Reynolds (R) did best in Wyoming.

2006
District: Republican 52, Democrat 48

Erie: Republican 45, Democrat 55
Genesee: Republican 58, Democrat 42
Livingston: Republican 60, Democrat 40
Monroe: Republican 57, Democrat 43
Niagara: Republican 47, Democrat 53
Orleans: Republican 60, Democrat 40
Wyoming: Republican 63, Democrat 37

Comments: Another CJD vs. Tom Reynolds election, except this time CJD got a lot closer. Most of his improvement came in Erie (which he flipped) and Monroe. Orleans actually voted more Republican than in 2004! Also, as a side note, this was the only election over the past decade where the Independence Party endorsed the Democrat.

2008
District: Republican 55, Democrat 41, WFP 4

Erie: Republican 51, Democrat 45, WFP 4
Genesee: Republican 60, Democrat 35, WFP 5
Livingston: Republican 56, Democrat 39, WFP 5
Monroe: Republican 56, Democrat 40, WFP 4
Niagara: Republican 54, Democrat 41, WFP 5
Orleans: Republican 60, Democrat 35, WFP 5
Wyoming: Republican 63, Democrat 32, WFP 5

Comments: Once again, a battle between two Erie-based candidates (well, three, if you include Powers on the WFP line). Kryzan really got blown out. Even with the WFP line, she would have lost every county. Hochul obviously has to do better than this.

2010
District: Republican 74, Democrat 26

Erie: Republican 72, Democrat 28
Genesee: Republican 79, Democrat 21
Livingston: Republican 74, Democrat 26
Monroe: Republican 71, Democrat 29
Niagara: Republican 75, Democrat 25
Orleans: Republican 78, Democrat 22
Wyoming: Republican 81, Democrat 19

Comments: Finally, a race that isn't Erie-on-Erie! The Democratic nominee was from Monroe County, which probably explains why it was his best. He also overperformed his district average in Erie, but underperformed in Niagara, the only county to go Democratic in 2004.

Conclusion

Erie County: Although Erie is also home to Corwin and Davis, it's absolutely necessary for Hochul to win here. From 2002 to 2010, the Democrat overperformed their district average in Erie every single time. In order to tie Corwin districtwide, Hochul probably needs to win around 60% of the two-party vote here. If Davis is in high single digits, that probably means Hochul needs to be around mid-50s or so here.

Genesee County: Part of the Republican "GLOW" core of the district, it's given more to the Republican than the district overall in each election since 2002. In a tie election, Hochul probably wins about 45% of the two-party vote here. With Davis in high single digits, Hochul probably needs to get high 30s here to win.

Livingston County: At the beginning of the decade Republicans have vastly overperformed here, but it's possible that this county is slowly trending Democratic. It could possibly end up being a bellwether county, in fact. However, with SUNY Geneseo students on summer break, it will probably vote less Democratic than normal. Still, it is the most Democratic of the GLOW counties. Hochul probably wins 48% or 49% of the two-party vote here in a tie election. If she is beating Corwin here on election night, that's a very good sign.

Monroe County: Again, with SUNY Brockport students gone, it might vote a bit less Democratic than normal. With the exception of 2010 when the Democrats ran a Monroe-based candidate, the Republican has overperformed here every single time, so in a tie election, Hochul probably only gets about 47% of the two-way vote here. On election night, if she is breaking 40% here, we have a chance.

Niagara County: Democrats overperformed here in each election except 2010. Jack Davis even won it in 2004 when he lost every other county, even Erie. Accordingly, Hochul probably must carry Niagara to win the district. In a tie, she would win roughly 55% of the two-party vote here. On election night, a Hochul victory, especially by mid-single digits or higher, would be reason for optimism.

Orleans County: Another heavily Republican "GLOW" county. Hochul won't win here unless Corwin really collapses. In a tie, Hochul should get about 45% of the two-way here. On election night, it will probably vote similarly to Genesee, so Hochul needs high 30s here to win.

Wyoming County: Another GLOW county, and easily the most Republican county in the district. Hochul can't win here, period. In a two-way tie, she'd get perhaps 39% of the vote. On election night, if she's breaking 35%, we are in good shape.

Originally posted to sapelcovits on Sat May 21, 2011 at 02:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by New York State and Community Spotlight.

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