Tedisco Ahead Right Now, But Early Absentee Numbers Painting Good Picture For Murphy (For Now)

A few more data points are coming in from NY-20 — not nearly enough to give us a definite answer as to who won this thing, but definitely something to chew over. So far, the answer for Democratic candidate Scott Murphy is a definite maybe.

On the one hand, the machine recanvass is now completed in the state’s official numbers, with Scott Murphy having lost some more votes and Jim Tedisco gaining. That’s right — it looks like Tedisco actually won the machine count on Election Night by 68 votes, not Murphy and his original 65-vote margin, but it took us this long to find out.

On the other hand, early hints coming in are that the absentees look quite nice for Murphy — enough that he could very well win the race, after the nearly 7,000 absentees are counted. Some further numbers and analysis, after the jump.Here are the various data points we have so far:

• The state’s official count right now has Tedisco up by only 24 votes, as the absentees coming back have gone slightly to Murphy. Beyond that, the Democrats have claimed in a memo late last night that they’ve made a pickup of 20 votes in Delaware county — which Tedisco carried 50.2%-49.8% on Election Night — and this number is not yet in the state totals. And they claim an eight-vote gain in Rensselaer County, where Tedisco won on Election Night by 51.5%-48.5%. This number is also not yet in the state totals, and doesn’t include any overseas and military votes that might still be straggling in under the extended deadline.

(Delaware county confirmed to me that the absentee count here is finished, pending the remaining military and overseas ballots yet to arrive in the mail, but numbers are not being officially disclosed. And Rensselaer County would neither confirm nor deny the Dems’ claim that they’ve finished their absentee count.)

• In Columbia County, a Murphy stronghold, they’ve only finished up seven precincts so far. These precincts, an election commissioner told me, gave Murphy 55 votes to Tedisco’s 13 (not the 53-13 margin currently on the state’s results page). On Election Night, these same seven precincts voted for Murphy 65%-35%, compared to an 80%-20% margin in the absentees.

• Dutchess County, which voted narrowly for Murphy on Election Night, officially reports a Murphy gain of 35-22 in the ballots counted so far. However, they’ve only counted about eight percent of their absentees, and I haven’t been able to reach anyone to give me the Election Night numbers for these individual precincts, as I was for Columbia.

• Greene County is less than halfway done with its absentee count, and so far Tedisco is ahead in them by nine votes, or 52.2%-47.8% — but Tedisco carried this county 55.7%-44.3% on Election Night. So while Tedisco is winning the absentees here, so far at least he’s behind the curve of where he should be.

So what does this all mean? If these trends hold, Murphy could potentially do even better in the absentees than he did on Election Night for the home counties. And considering that the initial Democratic claims of a Murphy win in absentees were based on the absentees being exactly proportionate to the county totals — the geographic distribution appeared to favor Murphy — this looks quite good for the Democrats if Murphy is outperforming those expectations.

However, it’s very important to stress that there are some caveats here. At this point we only have about 11% of the overall absentees, and not all of them are coming officially from the state and county governments. For all we know, Tedisco could make a big splash in absentees somewhere else, either in a pro-Murphy area or by a disproportionately favorable outcome in one of his own strongholds. But if this pattern were to continue, we could see Murphy having lost the Election Night totals and more than making it up in the absentees.

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Managing Editor:
Senior News Editor:
Assistant Editor:
Editor at Large:
Investigations Desk:
Front Page Editor:
Editor for Prime & Special Projects:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: