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Stringer Topped de Blasio's Vote Total on Election Day, Study Finds

By Colby Hamilton | November 14, 2013 5:26pm
 A map from NYC Election Analysis 2013 showing the differences in vote results between Stringer and de Blasio on Election Day, November 5.
A map from NYC Election Analysis 2013 showing the differences in vote results between Stringer and de Blasio on Election Day, November 5.
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NYC Election Analysis 2013

CIVIC CENTER — Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio blew through expectations on Election Night when he captured 73 percent of the vote. But his one-time Democratic primary opponent and now comptroller-elect Scott Stringer ended up that night’s big winner — earning more total votes than de Blasio citywide.

According to one of a number of post-election analyses from the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center, voters gave Stringer substantially higher shares of their votes overall, with voters in areas of Staten Island, South Brooklyn, the Upper East Side and Riverdale leading the way. 

While de Blasio garnered 752,604 total votes on Election Day, Stringer topped that with 782,704 votes overall.

Stringer also won a higher percentage of the vote at 80.5 percent. The vote total for the comptroller's race, while less overall than for the mayor's race, were comparable. In some areas, Stringer scored at least 25 percentage points better than de Blasio.

“The differences between the de Blasio vote and Stringer are interesting, both in terms of how strong the progressive support was for the mayor-elect, and also what it might mean for how they govern,” Steven Romalewski, director of the mapping unit with the Center for Urban Research, wrote in an email.

The results of the analysis are avaialble online as part of the NYC Election Atlas 2013, a joint project between the Center for Urban Research and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Romalewski said additional reviews of the preliminary returns from this year’s general election as compared to the 2009 mayoral election results, as well as those from the presidential election in 2012, proved interesting.

“It's clear that de Blasio did so much better across the board, including in areas that Thompson had loss in 2009,” Romalewski said, referring to the 2009 Democratic mayoral candidate, former city comptroller Bill Thompson, who lost to Michael Bloomberg. “I think it's a reflection of how much the electorate has changed or how much they’re willing to vote for a candidate who wanted to see a shift in policies away from Bloomberg.”

However, de Blasio’s big victory on November 5 still lagged behind the 2012 totals of President Barack Obama, who received 81.1 percent of the city’s vote.

“You could consider the election of Obama the peak of liberal voting strength in New York City,” Romalewski said. He cautioned against some commentators reading too much into de Blasio’s historic mayoral totals when compared to Obama’s.

“The idea that there's been this substantial shift is tempered somewhat,” he said.

However, voter turn out in 2013 was below what it was in 2009, when voters handed Bloomberg a third term. And of those areas that came out in big numbers this year, many were in areas supportive of de Blasio’s opponent, Republican Joe Lhota.

“Not only are there some conservative pockets of support in the electorate, but they turn out,” Romalewski said.

He added that he hopes the information will help elected officials and advocates better tailor their efforts on behalf of the public.

“We hope it gives a more realistic sense of the electorate’s message,” he said.