Battleground Friday: New York's 21st Congressional District

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New York's 21st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
June 24, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Elise Stefanik Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Bill Owens Democratic Party
Bill owens.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Toss Up[1]

FairVote's Monopoly Politics: Toss Up[2]
Sabato's Crystal Ball: Toss Up[3]

New York U.S. House Elections
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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

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Because this Friday is a holiday, Ballotpedia is providing the weekly Battleground Friday report today. Have a nice holiday!
By Kristen Smith and the Congress team


In the next profile of our 2014 battleground districts, the Congress team is taking an in-depth look at New York's 21st Congressional District's 2014 election.

Current incumbent: Democratic incumbent Bill Owens was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2009 and is not seeking re-election in 2014. Prior to his congressional career, Owens served in the U.S. Air Force, built a private law practice, and later served on the faculty of the State University of New York.[4]

2012 MOV: Owens won his seat in the 2012 election with a margin of victory of 1.9 percent over Republican candidate Matt Doheny. Doheny also planned to run on the Republican ticket in 2014, but he was defeated by Elise Stefanik in the Republican primary.[5]

2014 candidates: Incumbent Bill Owens is not running for re-election, so the Democratic Party has rallied around Aaron Woolf as their candidate of choice in the general election. Woolf ran unopposed in the Democratic and Working Families primaries on June 24, 2014. Woolf's biggest challenger will be Elise Stefanik, who defeated Matt Doheny for the Republican nomination in the primary. Stefanik is also running on the Conservative ticket. Doheny will still be on the ballot as well, because he ran unopposed for the Independence nomination, but it is still unclear whether or not he will be actively campaigning. Matt Funiciello is running in the general election for the Green Party.[6][7]

What made it a Ballotpedia battleground district?: The Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index (PVI) rates this district as evenly matched between Democratic and Republican voters.[8] FairVote also rates the district as very closely matched, but predicts that the 2014 election will lean slightly Democratic with 51.9 percent of the vote.[9] In 2012, although Democratic President Barack Obama won the district by a fairly safe 6.1 percent margin of victory, Democratic incumbent Bill Owens won by a mere 1.9 percent margin of victory. In addition, Owens is not running for re-election, leaving the seat open.

FEC: According to data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), neither Woolf nor Stefanik has a significant advantage in terms of campaign finance. As of the April Quarterly FEC reports, Stefanik had raised the most money, with $524,364.77 compared to Woolf's $417,184.96. However, Stefanik spent a significant portion of her contributions preparing for the primary, so Woolf had more cash on hand, with $403,405.07 to Stefanik's $350,825.35. Doheny had actually raised slightly more than Stefanik, but he did not spend much on the primary, and he will probably not campaign for the general election, although he will be on the ballot.

The information above was compiled following the New York candidate filing deadline. Please find all further updates on the 21st District's election page.
New York's 21st Congressional District
NY District 21 Map.PNG

Population: 717,663
Gender: 51.2% Male, 48.8% Female
Race: 92.6% White, 3% Black
Ethnicity: 3.1% Hispanic
Unemployment: 9.4%
Median household income: $48,759
High school graduation rate: 88.1%
College graduation rate: 21.7%

See also