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Surge in voting ushers in Democrats

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New York races

REGION — A surge in voter participation in New York State resulted in wins for Democrats in a couple of high-profile races. In the contest for the NY 19th Congressional seat, Democrat Antonio Delgado beat first-term incumbent Republican John Faso by a total of 132,001 to 124,408, according to totals on the New York State Board of Elections (BOE), which have not yet been certified. The total number of votes cast, including third-party candidates and blanks, was 267,979.

In the midterm election in 2014, which featured Republican incumbent Chris Gibson against Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge, voters cast a total of 210,351 ballots, with the Republican candidate winning by a margin of 131,594 to 72,470. The increase in ballots cast from 2014 to 2018 was about 28%.

The surge in participation was also reflected in the race for the 42nd state senate district, with Democrat Jen Metzger outpolling Republican Annie Rabbitt by a margin of 48,074 to 45,552. Voters cast a total of 95,992 in the race this year. In the 2014 midterm, Republican John Bonacic ran unopposed and received 49,787 out of the total votes of 71,183. The totals this year represent an increase of more than 30% in voter participation.

The surge was also apparent in the race for the governor’s seat. In 2014, Democrat Andrew Cuomo received about 2 million votes. In 2018, the total was 3.3 million. In 2014, Cuomo’s Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, received about 1.5 million votes; in 2018 Cuomo’s Republican opponent, Marc Molinaro, received about 2.1 million.

Pennsylvania races

Voter participation also appears to have increased in Pennsylvania, although in some races the increase is hard to measure for a variety of reasons. In the 2014 midterms, Republican Rep. Mike Peifer—who represents parts of Wayne and Pike counties—ran unopposed and received 12,828 votes. In 2016, Peifer ran against Hawley businessman Orlando Marrero. Peifer won 16,0138 votes and Marrero had 8,524, so voter participation appears to have nearly doubled.

Republican Rep. Jonathan Fritz also handily defeated Democrat Rebecca Kinney by a vote of 16,130 to 6,355 this year. Fritz was not on the ballot in 2014, but the total number of votes for the two candidates in the ballot then was 17,211, so there has been a significant increase in voter participation in the district.

In the statewide race for governor, Democrat Tom Wolf was up nearly a million votes from 2014, with more than 1.9 million four years ago, and 2.8 million this time around. Wolf’s opponent in 2014 received about 1.6 million votes, and this year Republican Scott Wagner received about 2 million.

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