Updated 11/14/2020

You may have noticed, both on our Twitter account and on the blog, that we’ve yet to release our full Election Analysis for 2020.

Unlike our previous elections, Radio Free Bay Ridge is waiting for all absentee ballots to come in before making any analysis on local elections. This is a very weird election year, with COVID-19 increasing absentee ballot numbers well beyond their usual levels.

Even in normal times, the district often hinged on absentee ballots. For example, in 2018, State Senator Marty Golden waited for weeks, hoping that absentee ballots from Ocean Parkway would put him over the top of a similarly tight race.

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t working in the background. In fact, we intend to release our biggest electoral analysis yet for the 2020 election in the near future. We’ll also include a complete analysis on how different the election-night results were compared to the final count, to help highlight how COVID and new voting reforms have changed how we analyze votes.

Where Might Absentees Come From?

To explain this decision, here’s a small snapshot of where absentee ballots came from in the Democratic Primary on June 23rd.

Darkest Areas indicate Electoral Districts with ~100 Absentee ballots each for the 2020 Democratic Primary in June.

This map implies that many Democratic absentee ballots are likely to be from southern and nothern Bay Ridge, which are likely to have voted a straight Democratic ticket.

Most of our local races, including Gounardes vs. Bruno and Frontus vs. Szuszkiewicz, have absentee ballots that exceed the current victory margins. Absentee Ballots will only begin being counted on Friday, November 6th.

Can Absentees Make A Difference?

In the table below, you can see how if the absentees break entirely along party lines, and not counting the swing votes from unregistered voters, each race becomes simply too close to call.

CandidateVotes So FarMarginUncounted Absentees*Possible Total With Absentees**
Andrew Gounardes34,586-6,035+14,10548,691
Vito Bruno40,621+6,035+3,85444,475
Mathylde Frontus15,030-2,822+5,47520,505
Mark Szuszkiewicz17,852+2,822+1,58219,434

*For Democrats, we combined absentee ballot totals from registered Democrats, Working Family, and Green Party voters. For Republicans, we combined the totals for Republican, Conservative, Libertarian, SAM and Independence party voters.

** These final estimates assume everyone votes according to their registered party, and that no new ballots arrive between Election Day and November 6th… so expect these numbers to change. It also doesn’t include the possible swing votes from absentee ballots sent by voters without a registered party. The Gounardes/Bruno race has nearly 4,848 such ballots. The Frontus/Szuszkiewicz race has about 1,633 such ballots.

Will Trump Voters Vote For Democrats Down-Ticket?

We’re seeing trends showing that Democratic Candidates out-performed Biden’s totals in South Brooklyn. This syncs with the fact that the Republican candidates under-performed in comparison to Trump.

That means Trump voters ended up voting for Gounardes and Frontus in South Brooklyn.

That throws a wrench into the assumption that every Republican absentee ballot will vote Republican. The margins may be in favor of Democrats, especially when it comes to the absentee ballots for voters without a registered party.

In short, the race is simply too close to call. It can go either way, and we congratulate the eventual winners. Look forward to our complete analysis when the counting is over!

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