NY-23 Election Results

Tracy_Mitrano_Headshot(1)

Tracy Mitrano

Well done, Tracy Mitrano.

Year Candidate Votes Percentage
2012 Reed/Shinagawa 127/117/243 52/48
2014 Reed/Robertson 113/70/190 59/37
2016 Reed/Plumb 161/110/280 58/42
2018 Reed/Mitrano* 122/100/223 54/44

*Preliminary results

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York%27s_23rd_congressional_district

https://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/07/ny-23-election-results-tom-reed-tracy-mitrano-congress/1896127002/

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About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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39 Responses to NY-23 Election Results

  1. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Well Done, you say?? How’s that again? She lost, right? Just like every other NY 23 Democrat for the last 10 years.

    And we lost, bigly, because we have at least 2 more years of Tom Reed.

    Item 1. In her home county, Yates, she received 3,111 votes, while Reed received 4,317. Reed buried her on her home turf.

    Item 2. She lost by 10 points in NY 23, while touting over the last couple of weeks that she had a poll stating that she was within 1.5 points of Tom Reed. Either she hired an incompetent polling firm, or she misreported the firm’s findings. Either way, the people who supported her were badly misled.

    Item 3. She barely beat out Plumb’s 2016 percentage despite a massive fundraising effort. Further…..

    Item 4. Plumb received 107822 votes. Mitrano received nearly 8000 fewer — 100495

    Item 5. Fifth straight loss to Tom Reed for NY 23 Democrats. With the exception of Shinagawa, each loss was double digits.

    Item 6. Five losses in a row with no improvement and fewer Democratic votes in 2018 than in 2016 indicate a systemic problem with the NY23 Democratic Organization. They continue to run the very same playbook year after year after year. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is crazy. It’s a big reason I am now a registered independent.

    Item 7. As ineffective as the NY 23 Democrats were, Indivisible 23 was just as incompetent. And probably counter productive. None of the screaming matches at Tom Reed town halls OR the weekly protests at his various offices moved the needle. Even a little bit. Given the election results, a case could be made that they enhanced Reed’s stature and helped him win again.

    Item 8. The NY 23 Democratic establishment and Indivisible failed to utilize the energy of people outraged by either Trump or Reed.

    Item 9. This is just a beginning critique. Anyone wishing to chat further can reach me at ahrens.arthur@gmail.com

    Item 10. Reed has a lock on 2020 and beyond until NY 23 democrats change their playbook.

    Like

  2. whungerford says:

    It isn’t easy to defeat an entrenched incumbent in a district that favors that person’s party. While I hoped for more, I think Tracy did very well. As usual, the election was decided by voters in the rural areas of the district.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Arthur Ahrens says:

    It isn’t easy to defeat an entrenched incumbent in a district that favors that person’s party.
    –Agreed. It requires an extraordinary effort. Mitrano fell far short. It can be done. Someone should talk to Eric Massa.

    While I hoped for more, I think Tracy did very well.
    –Please define ‘very well’. She failed to carry Yates County. In the entire district, she only carried Tomkins County. She fell far short of the number of votes given to Plumb two years ago. I would argue that her effort hurt Democrats and will embolden Reed in the future, since the trendline is obviously fewer Democrat votes in each election. And that is a metric which is important to Reed.

    As usual, the election was decided by voters in the rural areas of the district.
    –Yup. What’s your point? This is known and will not change. The Democratic Party has a real problem here. This isn’t only Mitrano. No one is addressing it, either locally or nationally. Indeed, it is beginning to look like the Democrats are abandoning rural voters in favor of suburban voters.

    I say it again – Reed is a lock in NY 23 until people resolve to stop repeating the past mistakes that have given him 5 wins in a row.

    The 2020 election started today. Are the Democrats going to provide a plan and a candidate who does ‘very well’ and loses? Or are they going to mount a serious challenge/

    If past is prologue, we know the answer.

    Like

  4. whungerford says:

    Every candidate can’t win; did Beto O’Rourke’s loss mean he ran an incompetent campaign? I think not. Eric Massa won against a week incumbent on his second try.

    Like

  5. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Every candidate can’t win;
    —Agreed. So?

    did Beto O’Rourke’s loss mean he ran an incompetent campaign? I think not.

    —Well, incompetent campaigns can win, but it is more likely that they lose. Competent campaigns can win or lose, but even in losing they have lots of beneficial effects. Case in point, the one that you cite– Beto O’Rourke

    O’Rourke ran a great campaign, ad evidenced by the margin of loss : 2.7 % of the vote, as opposed to Mitrano’s double digit loss.
    O’Rourke garnered national attention and publicity for the Democrats. Mitrano got almost none. It should be remembered that the people opposing Reed at his Town Halls appeared to be an angry mob. Some of these were Mitrano supporters. Publicity, sure, and very negative.
    O’Rourke brought voters in to the contest: 22% of the voters were voting in a midterm for the very first time. These voters leaned towards O’Rourke by 7 points
    O’Rourke raised tons of cash, requiring the Rs to match him. This meant stealing from other districts. Therefore he helped the national effort. As opposed to Mitrano.
    O’Rourke energized young voters and added to the voter rolls. Mitrano lost votes from the previous election.
    O’Rourke had coattails and though he lost he had a very positive effect on downballot races. By turning out voters for himself, he turned out voters for other Texas democrats. Some of these people actually won! Mitrano had no coattails at all.
    Further, Cruz is now very aware of the electorate. He is a smart and ambitious man, much like Reed. It will be interesting to see how this election influences his future votes. I believe that he is still running for president.

    Eric Massa won against a week incumbent on his second try.
    –Another excellent example! As someone once said, “It isn’t easy to defeat an entrenched incumbent in a district that favors that person’s party. ” Kuhl was an entrenched Republican incumbent in a Republican district and Massa lost to this ‘weak’ candidate on his first try. He did win the second time around.
    Note well the difference between this win and subsequent Democrat NY 23 losses. Massa campaigned almost non-stop for four years to beat Randy Kuhl. Contrast that with the puny time allotted to Democratic challengers in the last five elections…less than five months. With attendant predictable results.

    Those who won’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Same results in 2020 if no changes are made.

    At present, Reed has a lock on 2020.

    Like

  6. whungerford says:

    Yes, Eric Massa worked hard for four years in the rural areas of the district and won on his second try. Perhaps Tracy Mitrano will do that. It might be the key to success.

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  7. Robin Messing says:

    Tracy had two structural disadvantages that she had to overcome: one that is built in and can not be changed, and one where the Democratic Party shot itself in the foot. We can not change the fact that this is a heavily Republican district. We CAN change the Democratic Party rules that established such a late date for the Democratic Primaries. The long primary season only depletes the coffers of the Democratic candidates and delay the date when the Democratic Candidate can get his or her name known outside the party. It also delays the date when the Democratic Party can turn its firepower on the Republican candidate. I know if Tracy had her druthers the primary date would have been earlier.

    Someone please remind me, did any of the others who ran against Reed have primary challengers? I honestly don’t remember, but if they did, I’m sure they didn’t have multiple challengers with a primary as long as Tracy’s. If that is the case, then comparing Tracy’s performance to theirs is a bit of apples and oranges.

    Arthur, you do make valid observations about the problems facing the Democrats, What exactly do you think the Democrats should do to fix them?

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  8. whungerford says:

    There were three candidates in 2012; no primary in 2014 or 2016.

    Most significant is voter’s belief that party affiliation trumps everything else; policy issues don’t matter much in NY-23. All our candidates were worthy of support; the candidate, gender, and place of residence weren’t important. Elsewhere, women and younger voters favored Democrats, but that didn’t happen here.

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  9. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Robin,

    You raise excellent points. I agree with your assessment of the two structural disadvantages. The primary late date should be addressed as quickly as possible. As far as the heavily Republican District…some Democrats flipped Republican seats elsewhere in 2018. One victor was a lesbian who did it in deep red Kansas proving that it can be done with the right message. At the very least, Democrats should not be satisfied with declining or static vote totals.

    Declining Democrat vote totals for NY 23 indicate a problem for Democrats. The first step to finding a solution is identifying the problem. And the first step to identifying a problem is to admit one exists.

    The Democrats should stop with the “We gave it our best shot, what else could we do? What do you expect in a deep red district?” and start with “We lost. Why? How can we do better next time?”

    One practical and specific suggestion I will offer. Reed’s 2020 re-election campaign started yesterday. He will soon be restarting his Town Halls. Each of these offer him great publicity. The Democrats should note that and develop an effective response. Reed campaigns for 24 months out of 24. The Democrats will not unseat him by campaigning for only 5 out of 24.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. whungerford says:

    I see no evidence of declining vote totals–no significant change from 2012 to 2016; from 70 thousand to 100 thousand from 2014 to 2018. Of 33 thousand more voters in 2018 than in 2014, Tracy Mitrano got 30 thousand of them.

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  11. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Sources:
    https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_23rd_Congressional_District
    https://www.politico.com/election-results/2018/new-york/

    Year Candidate Total Votes Democrat Votes % Democrat Votes vs total
    2012 Shinagawa 279796 127535 45.6
    2014 Robertson 195874 70242 35.9
    2016 Plumb 279634 118584 42.4
    2018 Mitrano 223376 100495 45.0

    Whungerford, I disagree with your comments.

    In 2012 there was a total of 279796 votes cast. Shinagawa received 127535 for a 45.6% result.
    In 2018, total votes = 223376 and Mitrano got 45.0%. 100495.
    2018 total votes look to be 56420 fewer that 2012
    2018 Democrat Vote total is 27040 fewer than 2012
    2018 Democrat Vote total is 18089 fewer than 2016

    The ONLY way to tout an increase is to select favorable data and ignore the rest.

    WH –I see no evidence of declining vote totals–no significant change from 2012 to 2016;
    AA—- 27040 fewer Democrat votes in 2018 than in 2012 may be insignificant to you. It is not insignificant to me and it is clear evidence of a trend. There is more. Keep reading.

    WH –from 70 thousand to 100 thousand from 2014 to 2018.
    AA ——This is the kind of cherry picking of data that I find annoying. Robertson is clearly an outlier. The AVERAGE number of votes cast 2012 – 2018 is 244670. The AVERAGE number of Democratic votes received for the same period is 104214. Robertson was way below the average, so her numbers should not be used for a comparison. Cherry picking to prove a point! I expect this from Trump/ Reed. You surprised me here.

    BUT something else jumped out at me in the analysis. So thanks for the work.
    AVERAGE number of votes cast 2012 – 2018 is 244670. Total for 2018 was 223376. 20 K fewer than average.
    AVERAGE number of Democratic votes received for the same period is 104214. Mitrano received 100495. This means that she underperformed the average by 4000 Democratic votes.

    If you throw Robertson’s numbers out, these numbers get worse.
    AVERAGE number of votes cast 2012 – 2018 excluding Robertson is 260935. Total for 2018 was 223376. 38 K fewer than average.
    AVERAGE number of Democratic votes received for the same period is 115538. Mitrano received 100495. That’s underperforming the average Democratic candidate by 15043 (!) votes.

    WH–Of 33 thousand more voters in 2018 than in 2014, Tracy Mitrano got 30 thousand of them.
    AA—-absolutely true. but more than misleading in this discussion. Using the more current 2016 election, she received 8100 fewer votes than Plumb. A more accurate statement would be that, “Excluding Robertson’s numbers, Mitrano received the fewest Democratic votes from any of the three NY23 candidates form 2012 – 2018. In fact, she received over 18000 FEWER votes than the 2nd lowest candidate received.

    Total votes declined from 279796 in 2012 to 223376 in 2018. A net loss of 56420.
    Democratic votes declined from 127535 in 2012 to 100495. A net loss of 27040. or 48 % of total votes.

    I stand by my previous comments, but would be pleased if you would check my math.

    Try again!

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  12. whungerford says:

    Midterm elections aren’t comparable to presidential election years.

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  13. Robin Messing says:

    Arthur, you raise some excellent points and I appreciate your concrete suggestion. The sooner the Democrats can decide on who to run, the better, and the longer the time for a “soft” (i.e., not in-your-face) campaign, the better.

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  14. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Robin,
    Thank you for listening. Thanks for your input. And thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it. And I agree with your comment 100%.

    Whungerford,
    Please elaborate. I’d like to be precise in my response.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. josephurban says:

    Mitrano had a built in disadvantage as do all candidates when facing Reed. While the Democrats take positions on issues, Reed wisely avoids doing so. Voters can just think that Reed agrees with them. They cannot figure out where he stands.

    Now, in the NY 23 you can pick which Reed you want to vote for. Do you support the Reed that voted to stop Social Security Disability payments or the Reed who has his photo taken with the disabled? Take your pick. Do you vote for the Reed who wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare or the Reed who claims he is saving Social Security and Medicare? Do you vote for the Reed who has taken the position that the Debt and deficit are the number one problem facing the US or the Reed who voted to add $1.5 to the debt?

    Do you vote for the Reed that voted over and over to end the coverage for pre-existing conditions or the Reed who will fight to the death to keep pre-existing conditions covered? Do you vote for the Reed who called for the end of the Mueller investigation or the Reed who supports the independence of the investigation? Do you vote for the Reed who is opposed to separating children from their mothers at the border or the Reed who congratulates Trump for his harsh immigration policies?

    Do you vote for the Reed that supported giving a $1.2 trillion to the uber-wealthy or the one who brags about giving a family of 4 a buck a day per person as a “tax break”, while voting to raise their federal income tax because of the new limits of the property tax deduction? Do you vote for the Reed who voted against the bill that provided funds for economic development to the NY 23 or the Reed who brags about bringing millions of dollars of federal funds to the NY 23?And so on.

    Reed is hard to defeat because he is really 2 candidates. Take your pick. Perhaps the Democrats need to run a candidate with two heads and two faces. Perhaps we can find a candidate names Janice Janus?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus

    Liked by 2 people

  16. josephurban says:

    Correction: Reed voted to add $1.5 TRILLION to the debt.

    Like

  17. josephurban says:

    Forgot one. Do you vote for the Reed who is a hardworking “problem solver” who works across the aisle for the good of the nation, or the Reed who slings mud at his opponents by characterizing them as extremists and radicals?

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  18. whungerford says:

    Do you support the Reed that voted to stop Social Security Disability payments or the Reed who has his photo taken with the disabled? Take your pick.

    Why would one find something to like rather than something to dislike? Perhaps voters disregard both Reed personas, simply picking the familiar Republican Candidate.

    Here are some possible conclusions which could be drawn from the data:

    • We came closest in 2012; perhaps it becomes harder as the incumbent becomes entrenched in office.
    • If Tracy won 90% of the additional, above average votes for a mid-term election, then about 25 thousand more voters are needed for a Democrat to win. This could be achieved in 2020.

    Two well-known Republicans ran for Chemung County Executive. The one running on the Republican Party line, Chris Moss, won more than 50% of the vote. The other, Mike Krusen, running without the advantage of the Republican party line, got few votes.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. whungerford says:

    Here’s another surprise from Chemung County: Democrat Christine Sonsire won an astonishing victory over a male, Republican incumbent in a suburban district made to order for a Republican. Did women voters make that happen?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Arthur Ahrens says:

    josephurban,

    Politicians are concerned with one thing: getting (re) elected. To achieve this goal, they need to gather 50.1% of the votes of their district.

    Reed knows his district well. He is a master of local politics, as well he should be with the time he has spent in office. He reliably nets well over 50% of the vote.

    Each year in office, he improves his communication skills, He has put in place an exceedingly talented staff. He has cultivated donors who provide him a substantial amount of cash. He is also constantly improving his position in the Congress.

    Your posts criticize Reed’s duplicity. It seems to work for him. I believe the question at this point is Why can’t the democrats field a candidate to sink this fraud?

    The problem is not Reed. He is doing his job. The problem is with the democrats. They are failing to do theirs. And as long as that continues, Reed will remain in office.

    Which brings me back to my original complaint.

    Democratic candidates should not be congratulated when they continue the status quo and lose.

    If Mitrano had lost by the 1.5 points her campaign predicted, I’d be first in line congratulating her.

    But I won’t endorse continuing to do the same thing and hoping for different results.

    Like

  21. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Whungerford,

    Your comment about unseating an incumbent becomes harder as s/he becomes entrenched in office is accurate.

    I disagree with your assessment of the success of Mitrano’s performance in 2018. But I’ll agree with you for the sake of argument. You state “25 thousand more voters are needed for a Democrat to win. This could be achieved in 2020. ” My question is simple—How can this be achieved? Not vaguely, but specifically –What is the plan? What are your suggestions? What does the candidate need to improve over Mitrano and what was Mitrano successful at? At what did she fail?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. whungerford says:

    From the data, the average vote in mid-term is 205 thousand, 260 thousand in a presidential election year,. With the premise that the Democrat can expect the lion’s share of the additional votes, that would be enough.

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  23. josephurban says:

    Arthur. You seem to be suggesting that honest candidates are no match for Reed. I agree. So, are you suggesting the Dems field candidates just as corrupt as he? Candidates that take massive amounts of corporate PAC money? I hope not.

    The solution does not lie in “better” candidates. The last 4 elections have yielded better candidates than Reed. The solution lies in registering more working people, more younger voters, more informed voters. That is certainly an attainable goal.

    The fact is that rural areas are always largely knee-jerk GOP strongholds. Just as urban areas are knee-jerk Dem strongholds. We have a predominantly rural district so any GOPer has a built in advantage. Especially true because of the general lack of ethnic diversity in rural areas..

    But if you look at the nationwide data you will conclude (I hope) that the Dems tend to attract younger, better educated voters as well as better educated women. The key to winning is not changing the Dem philosophy or candidates.

    The key to winning is to register more voters who will vote Dem and get them to the polls.

    The prediction from the polling site “538” was pretty good. It predicted a 53-47 % Reed victory, based on the demographics and voting patterns. It also predicted a 44% voter turnout. 44%. It is in the 56% of adults who did not vote where future victories must lie. Those folks are turned off to politics for obvious reasons. Getting them registered (as well as younger voters not yet 18) is the path to a Dem victory in 2020.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2018-midterm-election-forecast/house/new-york/23/

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  24. Arthur Ahrens says:

    whungerford,
    “…With the premise that the Democrat can expect the lion’s share of the additional votes, that would be enough.”

    That is an incredible assumption in a ruby red district.

    I guess if you believe in Santa Claus and the Great Pumpkin enough, they will eventually show up.
    Or you’ll continue to be disappointed, wondering just what happened.

    Like

  25. Arthur Ahrens says:

    whungerford,
    Still missing a critique from you of Mitrano’s campaign with any sort of suggestion where there might be room for improvement.
    Guess the same plan will apply in 2020.
    Of course, the next time, things will turn out different.

    Like

  26. Arthur Ahrens says:

    JU–Arthur. You seem to be suggesting that honest candidates are no match for Reed. I agree. So, are you suggesting the Dems field candidates just as corrupt as he?
    AA – No. I’m not sure that would be even possible given Reed’s morals. The only person who beats Reed in that area, hands down, is Trump. Of course, Trump’s administration has many possible candidates…but I digress.

    JU–Candidates that take massive amounts of corporate PAC money? I hope not.
    AA- I’m agnostic on that point. All PACs are not servants of Satan.

    JU–The solution does not lie in “better” candidates. The last 4 elections have yielded better candidates than Reed.
    AA-A very subjective statement. What metric are you using? My metric is Who Won?. Reed won. QED

    JU–The solution lies in registering more working people, more younger voters, more informed voters. That is certainly an attainable goal.
    AA-Agree completely. How?

    JU–The fact is that rural areas are always largely knee-jerk GOP strongholds. Just as urban areas are knee-jerk Dem strongholds. We have a predominantly rural district so any GOPer has a built in advantage. Especially true because of the general lack of ethnic diversity in rural areas..
    AA– Agree

    JU–But if you look at the nationwide data you will conclude (I hope) that the Dems tend to attract younger, better educated voters as well as better educated women.
    AA – agree

    JU–The key to winning is not changing the Dem philosophy or candidates.
    AA-Disagree. What is the Dem philosophy? I used to know when I was younger. Things shifted with Bill Clinton and have remained in flux ever since. Remember Pelosi and Schumer rolled out ‘The Better Deal’ ? That died a quick death. There is a huge realignment occurring in American politics today in both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Things are shaking out. Once things settle, we can discuss a defined Dem philosophy.

    JU–The key to winning is to register more voters who will vote Dem and get them to the polls.
    Again, agree

    JU–The prediction from the polling site “538” was pretty good. It predicted a 53-47 % Reed victory, based on the demographics and voting patterns. It also predicted a 44% voter turnout. 44%.
    AA- The only people who missed it were Mitrano and her team. Which should bother everyone. Why were they so wrong?

    JU– It is in the 56% of adults who did not vote where future victories must lie. Those folks are turned off to politics for obvious reasons. Getting them registered (as well as younger voters not yet 18) is the path to a Dem victory in 2020.
    Again, agree. So what’s the plan?

    The 2020 campaign started 2 days ago.
    Time’s a-wastin’!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. josephurban says:

    Arthur. I may have misspoke when I said the Dems had “better candidates”. What I meant was they had more honest, decent candidates. That said, I still think a decent candidate can win in NY 23 IF the Dems can get out the votes and articulate their ideas. I think Mitrano did articulate her ideas but the NY 23 demographics were too much to overcome.

    How do we get people registered and voting? You ask the BIG question. When I taught high school Government classes I made sure every student registered to vote. The County Board of Elections was very happy to send me forms for my students to fill in. NY is one state where there seems to be no barriers to citizens voting.

    I think in our area Democrats need to concentrate on registering young voters in urban areas and college campuses, as well as high school seniors. They need to focus on changing NY state law so we can have early voting and encourage voting by mail, both of which increase participation. Both of those can be done at the state level through the legislature.

    What is the philosophy of the Dem party? I think it is contained in the party platform. Choice for women. A strong safety net. Pro small business. Anti corruption.Universal access to health care. Voting rights. Campaign finance Reform. Reasonable gun control. In general the Dems stand for a more empathetic government with checks on corporate power.

    Of course not every Dem holds to every principle. If the Dem Party is anything it has always been very diverse and not doctrinaire. While I , myself , am a liberal I understand that most of America is moderate, so it is important to compromise. I don’t see that has abandoning a philosophy as much as recognizing political reality.

    As Will Rogers is quoted as saying:” I am not a member of any organized political party, I am a Democrat.!”

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  28. Arthur Ahrens says:

    josephurban—

    I’ll match your great quote with another, “All politics is local” – Tip O’Neill.

    I think that that is an area where Dem candidates and NY 23 democrats fail. Your statements ‘Dems articulating their ideas’ and Mitrano articulating ‘her ideas’ imply that Dem ideas are different than those of NY23. I’ve seen this bias elsewhere and often. I’ve spoken with Democrats who have very low opinions of Republicans because ‘they just don’t get it!’. I’ve also had Democrats say scornfully,’There’s no such thing as a moderate Republican’. Grass root attitudes need to change. Everybody has a shortage of empathy. Rs want a better world as much as Dems do. Democrats need to tap into that desire.

    NY 23 voters have difficulty with Democrats. For the majority of citizens, choice for women, more government regulation, gun control are non-starters. Pushing a national Democratic agenda is a deal breaker for many voters, just as the Republican agenda is a deal breaker for you.

    Democrats are more honest? Perhaps they are, perhaps they aren’t. Public perception is all that matters and that perception is that all politicians are crooks or will be. JFK stole his first presidential election with the help of his bootlegger father and Chicago’s Daley machine. A republican crook ran against a democratic crook in NJ in 2018, with the Dem winning. An honest R would have won. Even in blue NJ.

    All politics is local. That’s how dems won this year. Look at the campaigns for O’Rourke, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tim Kaine. Kaine ran a remarkably positive campaign in Virginia, connected with his constituents and absolutely buried his opponent.

    This is what frustrates me about NY23. Road maps to victory exist, yet every election the NY23 Dems pull the battered and tattered ancient one from the glove compartment and drive the car into the ditch. Again. Year after year.

    EVERYBODY in NY 23 wants things to be better. DEMS AND REPS!! The disagreement is how to move towards this magical Utopia.

    What Reed does is to viscerally connect with the voters. When Dems stop pushing their national philosophy (NOT ABANDON!) and start a process of communication with voters about voters needs and desires, they will have moved far towards this visceral connection and subsequent victory.

    Here’s the question that should be uppermost—What do the majority of voters in NY 23 want, and which candidate will help them get it?

    When Democrats have a candidate answer that question better than Reed, they will win.

    It is that simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. whungerford says:

    Voter opinions in NY-23 are different from other regions. We know that opinions in rural areas differ from those in urban areas. I don’t know of any polling that might explain precisely what NY-23 voters think. Tom Reed does extensive polling and probably does know. We might infer just what from his advertising. Tom’s campaign wrote:

    Tracy Mitrano believes that “cybersecurity” – not nuclear warfare or the national debt or jobs in New York’s 23rd District – is the biggest threat we face. Tom’s opponent reaffirmed her support for open heroin injection sites in our communities and for a total government run healthcare system that will raise our taxes “somewhere in the range of 20-25%.”

    • Little concern for cyber security
    • Concern over national debt (but perhaps not the current deficit)
    • Fear of drug users
    • Fear of nuclear war
    • Fear of poverty
    • Fear of socialism
    • Fear of taxation
    • Fear of Albany, NYC, and Gov. Cuomo

    Perhaps because Tom says, and voters want to believe, Tom will protect us from Albany, NYC, and Washington, voters also believe the rest of his story. One thing is clear, Tom’s advisers do think he should avoid talking about his record.

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  30. josephurban says:

    Arthur. We are pretty much on the same page on most issues so I am not trying to be argumentative (even though that is my nature). I would like to comment on this part of your post:

    “NY 23 voters have difficulty with Democrats. For the majority of citizens, choice for women, more government regulation, gun control are non-starters. Pushing a national Democratic agenda is a deal breaker for many voters, just as the Republican agenda is a deal breaker for you.”

    I disagree. Properly explained I am not sure most citizens in the NY 23 agree with Tom Reed. Perhaps most VOTERS (again the problem of getting out the vote) but not most citizens.

    It is true that Reed always attempts to place his opponents in these boxes. And that works. But a candidate that can undercut his lies will be able to win.

    For example, gun control. I would argue that most citizens , even in the NY 23, favor reasonable gun control. When explained to them. Even the most conservative Supreme Court Justice, Scalia, recognized the government’s need to have reasonable gun control. Talk about the Scalia Heller v DC decision as a starting point.

    Regarding the right to choose. Again, I think properly stated, most people would agree that a person’s doctor and the person should control their health care decisions. I know Tom reed always says he wants government out of health care! The argument should be one of government interference. Talk about individual freedom as a starting point.

    Regarding government regulation. Again. Attack the GOP position by asking if you want your children to have clean water. Or clean air. Or you want to have your funds kept safe by your financial institution. Talk about the future and what it means for your children as a talking point.

    In other words, attack Tom Reed’s false stereotypes and misinformation. There is nothing wrong with standing up with real Democratic party ideals. If the Dems can expand the voter base to include more citizens, I think they win the arguments… and the election.

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  31. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Guys, I am enjoying this dialogue.

    Whungerford–
    Massa’s 4 year campaign allowed him to introduce and familiarize himself to voters, to discover what was important to voters, and to connect with voters. This is how he won. He was campaigning in NY23 and used NY23 issues to win.
    Voters support Tom Reed because they believe the parts of his narrative with which they identify. Dems have failed so far to make this connection with voters.

    Josephurban–
    I’m aware that we have many more agreements than disagreements. But VIVE LA DIFFERENCE!

    ‘Properly explained’ , ‘properly stated’ , ‘when explained to them’???? Hmpf. Preach to the dumb Rs who don’t know any better???? These are intelligent people with extensive life experiences! Man, I would resent it if someone told me I would understand things if only they were properly explained or properly stated. Puts my back right up and kills any further dialog. Exactly what needs to stop!

    Attack? Another semantic nuke. I again refer you to Kaine’s positive Virginia campaign. He specifically refrained from attacks and was hugely successful.

    Gun control, right to choose, government regulation? You see them as tools to enhance quality of life. OF COURSE THEY ARE GOOD! However, a lot of people in NY23 disagree. Arguments here will only enforce stereotypical views. And remember, that happens on both sides! I speak from sad experience. We have got to abandon the old ways that have been proven failures.

    Success in NY23 will not be won by attack or lectures or defending democratic ideals. Please remember that YOUR democratic ideals are surely different than MY democratic ideals. And we are on the same page.

    Success depends on finding common ground.

    Here’s some low hanging fruit:

    In this digital age, when everyone has fiber optics and lightning fast internet access, why does the vast majority of NY23 have only dial up? This hurts everyone regardless of philosophy. Homeowners, students(!), businesses, farmers. It might be nice to ask Reed what he has done about this and when it will change.

    How about the abysmal roads? Pop a tire off a rim in a pothole or slide off a slick road that hasn’t been salted and you have a pretty strong opinion.

    There are plenty of other mom and pop issues. Huey Long and Ronald Reagan were masters at using them. Clinton was pretty good, too.

    Look, I agree with your philosophical positions. But they are poison in campaigns.

    Bread and butter issues win.

    All politics is local!

    Like

  32. whungerford says:

    Eric Massa did campaign for more than two years in remote areas of the district (then NY-29). He did win, and his extended effort certainly did contribute to his success. His example may have inspired Tom Reed.

    Things were different then–we were upset with piracy and weary of war so that Massa’s status as a naval officer appealed to us. Another issue was the prospective affordable care act. Massa presumably told voters who feared it he would oppose it and I know told those in favor he only opposed it because he wished for a better law. That Massa ” used NY23 issues to win” isn’t so clear to me.

    My memory is that John Kuhl wasn’t very popular and failed to campaign much for reelection.

    Like

  33. josephurban says:

    Arthur. Let me explain what I mean by “properly explained”.

    I think that Tom Reed is excellent at distorting and simplifying the issues. He has been able to take control of the gun debate, for example, by distorting the other side.

    By “properly explained” I am saying that the next Dem candidate needs to attack the Reed lies and attack the false anti-gun narrative of the GOP. This does not imply that those who differ from me are ignorant. It means that the Dem candidate must do a thorough job of delving into the issues and not allow himself/’herself to be caricatured by Reed.

    I am speaking of thoroughly explaining the Dem position and calling Reed a liar when he lies. That is not “lecturing”. It is being honest in developing one’s arguments. I am also NOT suggesting that a candidate try to change the mind’s of Reed’s supporters. That is impossible. It is the middle voter and the new voter that should be the focal point.

    For example: Reed attacked Mitrano for suggesting that communities could put in “heroin injection sites”. YIKES!! DRUG ADDICTS everywhere! Who wants that? So, Mitrano backed down, which only gave Reed another talking point.

    I Instead, I would have taken a different tack. Yes, I do support a place for drug addicts to be able to get clean needles. We need to stop pretending that drug addicts don’t exist or that they are all violent criminals. They are our sons and daughters who are victims of drugs. Clean needles means there is less chance of hepatitis, AIDs, etc being spread through our communities. Drug addicts have wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, children and all are at risk. Also, a central location allows us to monitor drug use and even offer assistance to those who want to get off of the drugs. Let us treat addicts for what they are, addicted. They need help, Just as Tom needed help to deal with his food addiction and his obesity issues. Anyone can end up addicted. Can make a wrong choice. Your child, perhaps. A place for clean needles, coupled with other programs is a much more sensible way to deal with the addiction problem. Denying it exists or refusing to help only adds to the public health crisis and helps no one.

    Now, would that approach change any of Reed’s supporters minds? Absolutely not. But it would put the problem in a proper context (properly explained) and would make sense to a lot of people who may be on the fence.
    So, when I say “properly explained” I am not suggesting I would change minds that are already made up. Forget the Reed voters. Go after the majority of citizens.

    Like

  34. Arthur Ahrens says:

    whungerford–
    “things were different then…” That paragraph contains a fair amount of projection. Subjective. And I question the use of the word ‘presumably’, which invalidates the rest of the sentence.

    Your memory is much better than mine. I certainly cannot recall with clarity Massa’s positions, so I can’t credibly respond to your assertions. Heck, I even forgot it was the NY 29. 2006 was a long time ago, and Massa’s win happened in a district that no longer exists.

    But since you remember so well, and question Massa using local issues to win, it’s a fair question to ask was Kuhl voted out? Or did Massa beat him? And if Massa beat him, how? With my memory, I am in no position to argue, but I am very interested in your opinions.

    One last thing about your analysis of Mitrano’s voter totals and the future…an article from the wapo titled “Turnout was high for a midterm and even rivaled a presidential election.” is germane and is a useful read.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/midterms-voter-enthusiasm/?utm_term=.49e69f1939b2

    This is my view and why I believe your analyses are flawed. You are starting from erroneous assumptions.

    Like

  35. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Josephurban,

    Doubling down, eh?

    As I said, attack is counter productive. I’m disappointed that that word appeared so quickly in your comment, several times, at that. Common ground is both proactive and effective. One way gains, one way loses.

    Reed lies…. So? Trump lies. Sessions lies, Graham lies. Fox News lies. People eat it up as long as they get something. How much time do you want to spend tilting at that windmill? What’s the opportunity cost?? A far better approach is to campaign on the fact that Reed does not deliver for the district. Again, I refer you to Kaine’s Virginia campaign as a model.

    And now you segue into drug addiction? No. Not doing that. Let’s stick to the topic.

    Two times you aver that Reed’s supporters’ minds can not be changed. An incredible point of statement and point of view.Besides being judgemental and prejudicial, it is dead wrong. I know that for a fact as I have spoken with Reed’s supporters and understand them. I’ve got friends who supported Reed. And I have succeeded in getting them to view Reed critically. And even gotten a vote or too changed. Of course, I am not bound by the assumption that Reed’s supporters are a lost cause. I see them as peers, which seems to be a rare and uncommon view for Democrats.

    What a statement twice over! It is that very prejudice that I see often when attending various meetings with Democrats. It is that prejudice that limits the horizons of the NY23 Democratic campaigns. And it is one of the reasons for their repeated losses. But a big one!

    Forget the Reed voters? Yup, that’s the ticket for success–ignore the 55% who vote in elections. We have a sure winner there!

    Same old, same old.

    Like

  36. Arthur Ahrens says:

    From Representative Hakeem Jeffries D-NY8:

    “Message discipline brought us into the majority; message discipline will be necessary for us in order to keep the majority. The last time Democrats were in complete control of government we . . . failed to adequately communicate what we were doing and why we were doing it. We cannot make that mistake this time around or it will be a short-term majority. ”

    Jeffries, along with DPCC co-chairmen Cheri Bustos (Ill.) and David N. Cicilline (R.I.), played a significant role in keeping House Democrats on message during the campaign. Again and again, they told their colleagues to keep it simple, even handing out laminated cards with a Campaigning-for-Dummies-style message, just three bullet points totaling 28 words:

    “Lower your health care costs and prescription drug prices.”
    “Increase your pay through strong economic growth by rebuilding America.”
    “Clean up corruption to make Washington work for you.”

    Democrats in the most competitive races did stick to the script, avoiding the siren songs of impeachment and Medicare-for-all, Trump’s race-tinged cultural warfare and the Democratic tendency to muddle the message with scores of proposals.

    “The only way to successfully shape public sentiment in the era of Donald Trump is to have a message that is clear, concise, compelling and repeated over and over and over again,” Jeffries said. “Do we address every single outrageous thing that comes out of his mouth, or do we govern, and message accordingly, on our terms? For us to keep the majority we have to stay on message, which means a focus on kitchen table, pocket book issues that unify the American people.”

    Once more—ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL

    Change is desperately needed for Democrats in NY23. I haven’t seen any indication that NY 23 Democrats learn from the thumpings that Reed has given them.

    Change is the end result of all true learning. — Leo Buscaglia

    The future will tell if NY 23 Dems can learn.

    Like

  37. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Mark Sanford of South Carolina:
    “In sports, the team that loses is the team that studies the game-day tapes the hardest. In the military, it’s called an after-action review. Businesses that don’t examine loss die.

    But somehow in politics, it’s different. Too often, political figures simply blame the other side — or at least someone besides themselves.”

    This sounds eerily familiar. It’s the way NY 23 Dems deal with losses.

    Reed is a lock in 2020.

    Like

  38. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Kristen Sinema won in Arizona. How?

    …exits polls in the race showed Sinema hung on to a high percentage of white voters (44 percent) and won big with Hispanics (69 percent), white college graduates (53 percent), white college-educated women (55 percent), voters 18 to 44 years old (59 percent), and voters who ranked health care as the most important issue (77 percent). That sort of coalition succeeded for Democrats in a previously red state — and in races all across the country.

    Food for thought.

    Like

  39. Arthur Ahrens says:

    From Charlie Pierce, about Tom Reed’s BFF….

    “In my life, I have watched John Kennedy talk on television about missiles
    in Cuba. I saw Lyndon Johnson look Richard Russell squarely in the eye and
    and say, “And we shall overcome.” I saw Richard Nixon resign and Gerald
    Ford tell the Congress that our long national nightmare was over. I saw
    Jimmy Carter talk about malaise and Ronald Reagan talk about a shining
    city on a hill. I saw George H.W. Bush deliver the eulogy for the Soviet
    bloc, and Bill Clinton comfort the survivors of Timothy McVeigh’s madness
    in Oklahoma City. I saw George W. Bush struggle to make sense of it all on
    September 11, 2001, and I saw Barack Obama sing “Amazing Grace” in the
    wounded sanctuary of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

    These were the presidents of my lifetime. These were not perfect men. They
    were not perfect presidents, god knows. Not one of them was that. But they
    approached the job, and they took to the podium, with all the gravitas
    they could muster as appropriate to the job. They tried, at least, to
    reach for something in the presidency that was beyond their grasp as
    ordinary human beings. They were not all ennobled by the attempt, but they
    tried nonetheless.

    And comes now this hopeless, vicious buffoon, and the audience of equally
    hopeless and vicious buffoons who laughed and cheered when he made sport
    of a woman whose lasting memory of the trauma she suffered is the laughter
    of the perpetrators. Now he comes, a man swathed in scandal, with no
    interest beyond what he can put in his pocket and what he can put over on
    a universe of suckers, and he does something like this while occupying an
    office that we gave him, and while endowed with a public trust that he
    dishonors every day he wakes up in the White House.

    The scion of a multigenerational criminal enterprise, the parameters of
    which we are only now beginning to comprehend. A vessel for all the worst
    elements of the American condition. And a cheap, soulless bully besides.

    Watch him make fun of the woman again. Watch how a republic dies in the
    empty eyes of an empty man who feels nothing but his own imaginary
    greatness, and who cannot find in himself the decency simply to shut the
    fuck up even when it is in his best interest to do so. Presidents don’t
    have to be heroes to be good presidents. They just have to realize that
    their humanity is our common humanity, and that their political
    commonwealth is our political commonwealth, too.

    Watch him again, behind the seal of the President of the United States.
    Isn’t he a funny man? Isn’t what happened to that lady hilarious? Watch
    the assembled morons cheer. This is the only story now.”

    Like

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