New York's 21st congressional district elections, 2012
November 6, 2012
June 26, 2012
|Candidate Filing Deadline||Primary Election||General Election|
Primary: New York has a closed primary system, meaning only registered members of a particular party may vote in that party's primary.
- See also: New York elections, 2012
Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is Paul Tonko (D), who was first elected to the House in 2008. Due to redistricting, Tonko is running in the redrawn 20th district, and 23rd district incumbent Bill Owens is running in the new 21st.
This will be the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New York's 21st congressional district is located in the northeastern portion of the state and includes Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton, Essex, Warren, Washington, and Fulton counties and parts of Saratoga and Herkimer counties.
New York is one of eight states that have "electoral fusion" -- which allows more than one political party to support a common candidate. This creates a situation where one candidate will appear multiple times on the same ballot, for the same position. Electoral fusion was once widespread across the United States, but is now commonly practiced only in New York.
Opponents of fusion voting argue that the process results in dealmarking to ensure that patronage is rampant. Proponents maintain that fusion voting allows for minor parties to actually make a difference during the election, allowing voters the opportunity to vote for a minority party platform but still affect the general election result.
Candidates appearing in the general election will be listed below with colored dots corresponding to any party they will represent on the ballot.
Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals will be added when official election results are certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.
General election candidates
June 26, 2012 primary results
|U.S. House, New York, District 21 General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Bill Owens Incumbent||47.1%||126,631|
|Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"|
New York's 21st is considered to be Leaning Democratic according to the New York Times race ratings. Democratic incumbent Bill Owens is challenged by Matt Doheny, the Republican candidate he defeated in 2010. The race is thought to be closer this year as there is no third-party conservative candidate to steal votes from Doheny as there was in 2010.
Republican challenger Matt Doheny has been included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlights challengers who represent the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.
Investment fund manager Matt Doheny and recent seminary graduate Kellie Greene battled in the June 26 Republican primary. The winner will take on Democratic incumbent Bill Owens in the general election.
In 2010, Doheny was just under 2,000 votes short of beating Owens.
Greene, an international business consultant, said local Republican organizations had been dismissive of her campaign. The primary, she said , should not "be the will of the party. It’s supposed to be the will of the people." Several county Republican chairman responded, one saying that Greene had not shown a strong enough campaign, and another saying she did not send the campaign literature he had offered to distribute for her.
On the issues, Doheny and Greene had their disagreements. Greene favors a flat tax, while Doheny says such a tax would be best in theory, in practice he would rather work toward "a flatter, simpler, fairer tax system" with no loopholes. Regarding immigration, Doheny supports expanding H2A guest-worker visa programs, while Greene said "We don't have jobs for our own people."
Due to scheduling difficulties, the two candidates were unable to meet for a debate. Greene blamed the latest difficulty on Doheny's camp.
Impact of redistricting
- See also: Redistricting in New York
Following the results of the 2010 Census, New York lost two congressional seats, bringing its total number of representatives down from 29 to 27. According to a report in the Washington Post political blog "The Fix," New York was one of the top 10 redistricting battles in the nation.
- 37 percent from the 20th congressional district
- 4 percent from the 21st congressional district
- 58 percent from the 23rd congressional district
- 2 percent from the 24th congressional district
As of October 29, 2012, District 21 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New York State Board of Elections:
|New York Congressional District 21|
|Congressional District||District Total||Democrats||Republicans||Other & Unaffiliated||Advantage||Party Advantage||Change in Advantage from 2010|
|"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.|
FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study
- See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012
In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. New York's 21st District became more balanced because of redistricting.
- 2012: 49D / 51R
- 2010: 49D / 51R
Cook Political Report's PVI
In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. New York's 21st congressional district has a PVI of R+2, which is the 204 most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 53-47 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 53-47 percent over John Kerry (D).
|U.S. House, New York Congressional District 21 General Election, 2010|
|Democratic||Paul Tonko Incumbent||56.9%||124,889|
|Republican||Theodore J. Danz, Jr.||39.1%||85,752|
- United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections, 2012
- United States Senate elections in New York, 2012
- ↑ York ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
- ↑ New York State Board of Elections "Voting Deadline Page," Accessed June 30, 2012
- ↑ New York Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed September 25, 2012
- ↑ Electoral fusion ruins elections
- ↑ Working Family Party: Fusion voting
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 New York Board of Elections "Filings for June 26, 2012 Federal Primary," April 18, 2012
- ↑ Press-Republican "Matt Doheny to run again," Accessed December 23, 2011
- ↑ Watertown Daily Times "Sackets Harbor resident files paperwork to run for Congress," January 12, 2012
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 New York Board of Elections "List of Filings for June 26, 2012 Federal Primary," Accessed May 30, 2012
- ↑ New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
- ↑ NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
- ↑ Watertown Daily Times "Greene, Doheny diverge on H2A visa program," June 19, 2012
- ↑ Central New York YNN "Doheny hopes for second shot at Republican primary," June 8, 2012
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Post Star "Doheny details priorities and tax platform in Glens Falls visit," June 14, 2012
- ↑ Post Star "Green says most GOP hierarchy has shunned her," June 6, 2012
- ↑ Watertown Daily Times "GOP primary debate is off," June 21, 2012
- ↑ Washington Post, "The Fix," "Redistricting battles hit a fever pitch," June 3, 2011
- ↑ Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer "New York's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
- ↑ Labels & Lists "VoterMapping software voter counts"
- ↑ New York State Board of Elections, "District Active Enrollment 2012," April, 2012
- ↑ "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in New York," September 2012
- ↑ Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
- ↑ U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"