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NY-26: Democratic Primary Predictions

by on September 8, 2008

I’ve been asked to predict the outcome of the Democratic primary between Jack Davis, Jon Powers, and Alice Kryzan by quite a few people now. And the more I think about it, the various factors that can contribute to the outcome, and recent events, I think this race could be a 3-way toss-up.

I don’t live in the district, and I’m not a Democrat. So, I can only make an educated guess, but there are, I believe, three key factors that benefit each of the candidates in the primary race.

  1. Name Recognition. Local sources tell me that when it comes to name recognition, Jack Davis (still) has the advantage. He is a known quantity because of his past congressional runs, and that means that many of the primary voters have voted for him before. Considering this is a presidential election year, people are more focused on that race than they are on local races (including congressional races) name recognition might be enough for Jack Davis to win the primary.  
  2. Union influence. Jon Powers has the backing of the powerful unions, and of course, has the local Democratic Party endorsements. They will undoubtedly launch an aggressive get out the vote effort on behalf of their golden boy.
  3. Negative backlash. While people may be more more focused on the presidential election, it’s hard to avoid political ads, and Jack Davis and Jon Powers have been hitting each other hard. Alice Kryzan’s first television was brilliant in highlighting this back and forth negativity between the two and casting herself as a reasonable alternative. I suspect her ad has proven very effective, and I am lead to believe that Democratic polling shows Kryzan is now competitive in the race, since Jon Powers has recently released another attack ad on the radio against Kryzan. The question I cannot answer is who does Kryzan take the most support away from? My guess would be Jon Powers, which would be supported by the fact that Powers has gone negative against her.

I think the first two are stronger influencers on the primary than the last one, but, then again, there are obviously many more than three factors that will contribute to the outcome. If this is going to be a close race (which I suspect it will be) I don’t think I can make a confident guess at who will end up the winner. Pundits are always concluding that a close race is decided by the GOTV effort. If this is a close race according to party and campaign polls that would give Powers the overall advantage, given his union support.

In the end, I’ve decided not to make a public prediction. I cannot pretend to understand how Democrats respond to the various things things that have happened on this campaign. This is the same party that reelects such gems as Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), who was caught with $90,000 in bribe money in his freezer. Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA), who had a sexual relationship with an underage congressional page, Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL), who had an affair with an underage campaign worker and caught with child porn… So, all the scandals that have come out against Davis and Powers might not had any impact at all, or very little.

I guess the moral of the story is, we’ll just have to wait and see. 

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From → Campaign 2008, NY-26

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