New York's 27th Congressional District elections, 2012
November 6, 2012
June 26, 2012
- 1 Fusion voting
- 2 Candidates
- 3 Election results
- 4 Race background
- 5 Impact of redistricting
- 6 District history
- 7 See also
- 8 References
|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 was incumbent Brian Higgins (D), who was first elected to the House in 2004. Due to redistricting, Higgins ran in the redrawn 26th District, and 26th District incumbent Kathy Hochul ran in the new 27th.
This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New York's 27th Congressional District is located in the western portion of the state and includes Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties and parts of Ontaria and Erie 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 were added after official election results had been 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 27 General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Kathy Hochul Incumbent||47.4%||156,219|
|Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"|
New York's 27th was considered to be a Tossup according to the New York Times race ratings. Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul was challenged by Chris Collins (R) in a more conservative district than she won in 2010. Collins is a well-known Republican and was hoping to seize the seat for the GOP.
Republican challenger Chris Collins had been included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlighted challengers who represented the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.
Using the Federal Election Commission's October Quarterly campaign finance filings, the Brennan Center for Justice at The New York University School of Law published a report on October 22nd, 2012 focusing on the 25 House races rated most competitive by The Cook Political Report, including the race for New York's 27th. The report examineed the relative spending presence of non-candidate groups, candidates, and small donors in these races - "which will likely determine which party will control the House." 
|List of 25 Toss Up Races from the Cook Political Report:|
Republican and Conservative Party primaries
David Bellavia and Chris Collins contended in the June 26, 2012 Republican primary to see who would face incumbent Kathy Hochul (D) in the general election. With redistricting reforming Hochul's territory to favor Republicans, the Republican nominee had a serious shot at winning in November.
Bellavia is an Iraq War veteran and Tea Party activist, and Collins is a former county legislator. Bellavia sought to win as a more conservative candidate than Collins. He pointed out that the former Erie County Executive praised incoming federal stimulus funding when he was in office. Collins, however, did receive the Conservative Party endorsement. State Party Chairman Michael Long commented: "He had a proven record.... Collins would be more competitive against the congresswoman."
According to the Buffalo News, Bellavia was the underdog and rarely recognized by Collins. Bellavia, who wrote a book and subsequently sold the movie rights about his experiences in Iraq, said in taking on Collins he took on the "Erie County (political) machine."
Both candidates were largely self-funded, with Collins self-funding $250,000 and Bellavia $45,000. Reports also showed that Collins raised another $5,750, and Bellavia raised $50,000 in addition to his own contribution.
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.
Redistricting has made Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul extremely vulnerable -- the most vulnerable Democrat in New York and one of the most threatened in the nation, according to The New York Times. The Center for Politics places New York's 27th as leaning Republican. Hochul won in a special election in 2011, capitalizing on a Republican plan to reform Medicare in order to address the deficit. The long-shot challenger leveraged concerns in the elderly district to beat New York Assembly member Jane Corwin (R).
- 51 percent from the 26th Congressional District
- 29 percent from the 27th Congressional District
- 9 percent from the 28th Congressional District
- 10 percent from the 29th Congressional District
As of October 29, 2012, District 27 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New York State Board of Elections:
|New York Congressional District 27|
|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 27th District became more Republican because of redistricting.
- 2012: 42D / 58R
- 2010: 43D / 57R
Cook Political Report's PVI
In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measured each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. New York's 27th Congressional District had a PVI of R+7, which was the 143rd most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 55-45 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 57-43 percent over John Kerry (D).
|Candidate ballot accecss|
|Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.|
|U.S. House, New York Congressional District 27 General Election, 2010|
|Democratic||Brian Higgins Incumbent||57.8%||119,085|
|Republican||Leonard A. Roberto||37.1%||76,320|
- 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
- Clarence Bee, "State Senate candidate calls for an end to fusion voting", accessed September 19, 2013
- Oregon Working Family Party, "What is Fusion Voting?", accessed September 19, 2013
- New York Board of Elections "Filings for June 26, 2012 Federal Primary," April 18, 2012
- New York Board of Elections "List of Filings for June 26, 2012 Federal Primary," accessed May 30, 2012
- New York Board of Elections "2012 Candidate List" accessed October 17, 2012
- New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
- NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
- Brennan Center for Justice, "Election Spending 2012: 25 Toss-Up House Races," October 22, 2012
- The Cook Political Report, "House: Race Ratings", updated October 18, 2012
- [LimLim New York Times "Redistricting Poses New Challenge for Incumbent," May 27, 2012]
- The Batavian "Bellavia knocks Collins for seeking funds from Obama's stimulus package," June 20, 2012
- US News "In New York 27th, a Fierce GOP Congressional Primary Rages," May 30, 2012
- Buffalo News "Battle-tested underdog David Bellavia is on a mission," June 19, 2012
- Buffalo News "Bellavia, Collins, largely self-financed," June 16, 2012
- Washington Post, "The Fix," "Redistricting battles hit a fever pitch," June 3, 2011
- Sabato's Crystal Ball "2012 House Ratings," June 13, 2012
- 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"