Sunday, December 28, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: Fun With Numbers On Election Day

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There will be plenty of numbers to crunch after the polls close at 9 p.m. tonight but there are some important statistics to ponder right now that give us a good picture of where things stand with mayoral politics in New York City in 2013:

• A whopping 68 percent of registered New York City voters are Democrats. That's a massive base of support for a candidate but, amazingly, Democrats haven't been able to win City Hall since 1989.

• It's hard to be a Republican in the city. As our Bobby Cuza reported only 11 percent of registered voters in the five boroughs are Republican – an all-time low for the party. Both Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg were able to overcome their GOP labels – but just barely: neither got more than 51% of the vote in their first victories in 1993 and 2001, respectively. Republicans hold a majority in just one out of the city's 51 City Council districts: Vincent Ignizio's on the South Shore of Staten Island.

• What do Jimmy Walker and Bill de Blasio have in common? If the polls are right, de Blasio has a real shot at getting the highest percentage of votes for a non-incumbent for mayor in the city's modern history. Walker pulled in 65.8 percent of the vote when he first ran in 1925. Here's hoping that if de Blasio wins, he doesn't resign in a corruption scandal like Walker did in 1932. (By the way, Ed Koch holds the overall record for winning percentage: he got 78 percent in his 1985 re-election).

• Local voting participation has collapsed, especially when it comes to mayoral elections. About 2.46 million people voted for mayor in 1969 – when the city's population was smaller -- and we'll be lucky if half that many vote today. There's also a huge drop-off when it comes to presidential races and mayoral races. About 2.1 million New Yorkers voted in the presidential race in 2012 and 2.6 million voted in 2008; we haven't had 2 million people vote in a mayoral race since 1969. The collapse of civic participation in New York City is probably a topic worthy of a book or a dissertation but you can help buck that trend by going out and voting today. And remember to flip your ballot over to vote on those six ballot initiatives.

Our wall-to-wall election night coverage starts at 7 p.m. with "Road to City Hall" so tune in!


Bob Hardt

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