They're called 'third' parties for a reason
Nov 13, 2018 | 4027 views | 0 0 comments | 447 447 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The dust has finally settled on the 2018 elections, and we can begin to take stock of the results.

Well, kind of. Despite trailing as of press time, State Senator Marty Golden refuses to concede defeat to Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes for the south Brooklyn seat he has held for the last 16 years.

And Golden said he won't admit he lost until the November 13th deadline for voters to turn in their absentee ballots to the Kings County Board of Elections.

Absentee ballots were requested by 3,400 voters in the district, and to date over 1,800 of them have been returned, with well over 1,000 coming from registered Democrats and 477 from Republicans.

Of course, that doesn't mean that all of those Democrats voted for Gounardes, but it should give you an indication of how this race is going to end up. The county board has until December 3 to count all of the ballots.

Golden might have shot himself in the foot just days before the election by posting on his social media accounts a “public safety notice” to voters that forms handed out by the Gounardes campaign asking people when they were likely to vote – a common get out the vote tactic – could be used to rob people's homes because burglars would know when they would be at the polls.

It was a desperate tactic that didn't reflect well on Golden.

In Queens there was a push to reverse the summer's Democratic Primary results, in which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated longtime congressman Joseph Crowley. Groups took out full-page ads in the local press urging people to still vote for Crowley, who was still on the ballot on the Working Families Party line.

It failed terribly and showed that Ocasio-Cortez's victory was no fluke. She still earned 78 percent of the vote, while her Republican challenger, who took himself out of the race but was still on the ballot, got 13 percent of the vote.

Crowley could only muster a little over 6 percent.

What is it about New York City voters that they are incapable of moving down ballot and voting for a candidate who isn't running on one of the two major parties?

Which brings us to a State Senate race in northeast Queens. If the last two elections are any indication, then the district that includes neighborhoods like Bayside, Whitestone, and Douglaston, to name a few, is becoming another predictable districts when it come to the General Election.

John Liu defeated State Senator Tony Avella in September's Democratic Primary with about 53 percent of the vote.

But Avella decided to stay in the race and campaign on two other party lines, and after the results were counted last week, Liu had 53 percent of the vote, with Republican challenger Vickie Paladino earning 24 percent of the vote, and Avella behind both of them with 20 percent.

What happened to all the Democrats who voted for Avella and made the primary so close when it came time to vote in the General Election last Tuesday?

For some insight, let's look at last year's City Council race in District 19, the boundaries of which are almost completely within the same State Senate district that Liu won.

In the primary, challenger Paul Graziano nearly pulled off an upset of Councilman Paul Vallone, losing with 46 percent of the vote to Vallone's 54 percent, nearly the exact same margin that Liu defeated Avella.

Graziano was also on the November ballot last year. In the end, Vallone won with 59 percent of the vote, with Republican challenger Konstantinos Poulidis getting 25 percent of the vote. Graziano finished third with 18 percent of the vote.

Those are nearly the exact same vote percentages in the Liu-Paladino-Avella race. Again, where were all the Democratic voters who nearly pushed Graziano to a victory in the primary?

But while the totals were the same, there were a few differences. In last year's case, Vallone worked hard to engage voters after his near-defeat in the primary with Graziano still on the ballot.

The Republican challenger did almost zero campaigning. To this day we still don't know what he looks like, and apart from two “Konstantinos Poulidis for City Council” signs on the fence of a vacant lot on Francis Lewis Boulevard, he had almost no presence in the district.

Conversely, Paladino worked her butt off on the campaign trail in the weeks and days leading up the election, and yet they both ended up with just over 20 percent of the vote.

Unlike Vallone, after his primary victory Liu definitely campaigned, but hardly it wasn't what someone might term “vigorous.” In the end, they both earned about 55 percent of the vote.

And both Graziano and Avella campaigned tirelessly between the primary and the general election, and they both mustered about 20 percent of the vote.

In other words, northeast Queens, which used to be a stronghold of the Republican Party, is now another predictable district with voters sticking to party lines.

And despite the fact that both Democratic primaries were spirited affairs, when it came time to follow those candidate further down the ballot to third-party lines, voters just can't seem to do it.
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