by Cliff Weathers
I’ve been hearing tall tales from Rockland County Republicans’€”and repeated in the comments section of LoHud.com’€” this week that the GOP gave David Carlucci his State Senate seat and that it was with their support that he was able to beat Scott Vanderhoef. The numbers don’t bear this out: Carlucci may have gotten a few hundred votes from Republicans who crossed over, some of them possibly fearful of the possibility of Christopher St. Lawrence would take over as County Executive, but that’s likely all.
And unless a majority of voters jumped between Rows A and B between State Senate and Assembly, it actually appears Vanderhoef had stronger support of the Republican base than the sum of his Assembly ticket mates. And Democrats, it appears, came back into the fold after supporting the late State Senator Thomas P. Morahan in previous elections.
Let’s look over the numbers:
First, the towns Tuxedo and Warwick went 6-4 for Vanderhoef, which is roughly what it did for other Republicans on the ticket including Donovan, Wilson and Nan Hayworth. The Governor and Senate races were an exception. Carlucci also got very similar percentages to Harley Doles, who ran in the 39th State Senate district immediately north of the 38th in Orange County and to Myrna Kemnitz, running in the 97th AD. So there was certainly no surge of Republican love there for Carlucci. So now that Orange County is out of the equation, let’s look at Rockland County.
There are four State Assembly Districts in Rockland County and this was the vote totals for the four Democrats within the County:
Kenneth Zebrowski (94th, Clarkstown, Haverstraw, part of Ramapo): 21,605
Ellen Jaffee: (95th, Orangetown, part of Ramapo) 19,983
Roxanne Donnery (96th, Stony Point): 1,854
Myrna Kemnitz (97th, part of Ramapo): 1,588
Rockland County totals for the four Assembly candidates: 45,030
Compare this to David’s final tally in Rockland: 44,956. David got 74 fewer votes than the four assembly candidates combined.
The combined vote total for the four Republican Assembly candidates in Rockland County was 33,856. Vanderhoef took in 36,986, so he actually performed much better (3,130 more votes) than the sum of his four Republican ticket mates.
78,927 voters cast ballots for State Assembly candidates in Rockland.
81,940 cast ballots in the State Senate race in Rockland County.
A total of 2,997 ballots were cast for State Senate that were not cast for Assembly, which about matches the drop off of votes between State Senate and State Assembly races in neighboring counties. Also, these extra ballots mimic Vanderhoef’s 3,130 bump over his Assembly ticket mates.
Breaking it down by each individual election district, there is no deviation in support between any down-ballot candidates on the same line, with the exception of one small election district in Ramapo. Carlucci, almost as a rule, wins by near the same percentages of the corresponding Assembly candidate.
Taking a in depth look at Republican election districts in Pearl River, Vanderhoef took nearly 60 percent of the vote. In areas where Dems and Republicans typically split, like Sparkill–the two candidates split 50/50. This rumored fear among Pearl River Republicans that St. Lawrence take over as County Executive and would put Section 8 housing in their backyards never caught on as you might be lead to believe if you read the Lohud.com comments section.
To me, this shows me is that this race was won on the ground, with Carlucci taking back Democrats who had crossed over for Morahan in previous years. Rockland County Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 2-to-1 and independents, while they often break with Republican candidates, are not significant enough in numbers to swing this race, unless they broke wildly for one candidate or another.
Also, it should be noted that C. Scott Vanderhoef has never won an even year election. While he’s been successful in winning odd-year elections with much lower voter turnouts, he failed miserably in a Congressional run in 2002, a Lieutenant Governor run in 2006, and this year’s State Senate run.
Cliff Weathers blogs at LeftHudson.com