New York is on to the general election season — finally.
Tuesday marked the state’s second primary election of the year, due to a bungled redistricting that led the courts to step in and take over the once-in-a-decade process. The Aug. 23 primary — which featured only congressional and state Senate races — drew few surprises, with incumbents and polling favorites largely coming out ahead.
Here’s a preliminary look at how it all went down, by the numbers:
$239: A rough estimate of what Dan Goldman personally spent per vote
Much was made of Dan Goldman’s personal wealth — he’s an heir to the multibillion-dollar Levi Strauss fortune — and how he put it to use in his successful Democratic primary campaign for New York’s 10th Congressional District.
All told, Goldman earmarked nearly $4 million of his own money for the race, according to his filings with the Federal Elections Commission. With 99% of scanners reporting (and a bulk of absentee ballots outstanding), Goldman received 16,686 votes in the Democratic primary as of Thursday afternoon, according to the city Board of Elections’ unofficial results.
Do the math, and Goldman personally spent upwards of $239 per vote – assuming his campaign spent all of the money he put into his own account (latest filings show spending through Aug. 3).
One other candidate put a substantial amount of their personal money into the campaign for the 10th Congressional District: Brooklyn Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, who contributed $404,000. That means Simon personally spent around $101.22 per vote (3,991 votes as of Thursday).
It will be a couple months before we can tally the total amount each of the 12 candidates’ campaigns actually spent on the primary race as a whole — including money from donors, which fueled most of their efforts. Under federal rules, they won’t have to report their latest spending figures until mid-October.
The one campaign that could end up challenging Goldman’s per-vote spending is that of Hudson Valley Rep. Mondaire Jones, who finished in third. Jones’ campaign had spent $2.4 million by Aug. 3, meaning he spent at least $204 for each of the roughly 11,700 votes he received — a number that will increase once he reports his spending totals from the last three weeks.
It’s safe to say Manhattan Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou — who finished second with 15,380 votes — didn’t come close to meeting Goldman’s spending mark. As of Aug. 3, her campaign had spent just $205,000. That works out to about $13 per vote, but again, that doesn’t include the last three weeks of spending during the campaign.
13%: NYC voter turnout in Tuesday’s congressional primaries
A late August primary isn’t the norm in New York. Neither is a split primary – with statewide and Assembly races held in June and congressional and state Senate races held on Tuesday.
To calculate a rough turnout rate for Tuesday’s primaries, we homed in on the nine congressional primaries across the five boroughs, which were the highest-profile races on the ballot. About 2.1 million voters combined — roughly 2 million Democrats and 129,000 Republicans — were eligible to vote in those contests.
But there’s a caveat with the August numbers: they don’t include turnout for the roughly 200,000 eligible city voters who had a state Senate primary to vote in, but no congressional primary. That could make a minor difference in the overall turnout rate. We’ll have to wait for the final, certified results to perform that analysis.
As of Thursday evening, about 281,000 ballots had been tallied — putting the preliminary turnout rate for congressional races at about 13% — a figure that could climb slightly once all valid absentee ballots are processed.
As was expected, turnout was higher in the two marquee Democratic primaries: the 12th District, where Rep. Jerrold Nadler soundly defeated Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and the 10th District, where Goldman came out on top of a crowded field.
The 12th District — which covers Midtown and the Upper East and West Sides, led the way with 24% of eligible voters turning out to vote. The 10th District, which covers Lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn, clocked in at 19%.
The 13% citywide voter turnout for congressional races was roughly equal to the percentage of eligible voters who turned out in the June primary, when every registered Democrat and Republican in the city was eligible to vote in their party’s gubernatorial primary. (Not every party voter was eligible this time around, as there were parts of the city without a congressional or state Senate primary.)
71% to 11%: Nadler trounced Maloney on the Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is Nadler country.
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering he’s been representing the area in Congress for 30 years. Nadler’s huge margin of victory over Maloney — who repped the Upper East Side for those same three decades — was in large part due to him running up the score in the area that serves as his political base.
Nadler picked up about 71% of the vote in the 69th and 70th State Assembly Districts, which combine to cover the entire Upper West Side (and a little bit of Midtown). Maloney, by comparison, received about 11% of the vote in that same area — less than the 16% that went to challenger Suraj Patel.
Maloney picked up a larger share of the vote on the Upper East Side — but trailed Nadler there, as well.
She received 38% of the vote in the parts of the 73rd, 76th, and 68th State Assembly Districts that overlap with the 12th Congressional District, which roughly encompasses the Upper East Side. Nadler received 41.2% in the same area, and Patel — also an East Sider — came in at 20%.
Add it all up, and Nadler received about 55% of the vote, according to unofficial results.
3: The number of Republican primaries in the city
Democrats were busy in much of the city during Tuesday’s primary. Republicans weren’t.
There were three Republican primaries across the five boroughs, including two that were in districts stretching from Staten Island to Brooklyn.
In the 11th Congressional District, Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis easily warded off challenger John Matland, picking up 78% of the vote. She’ll face former Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat, in a rematch in November.
Tina Forte received 67% of the vote en route to defeating Desi Joseph Cuellar in the 14th Congressional District, which covers parts of the Bronx and Queens. She’ll face Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
And in the lone Republican primary for state Senate in the city, Joseph Tirone Jr. cleaned up in the 23rd District, which includes Coney Island and the North Shore of Staten Island. He faced fellow Republican Sergey Fedorov and now will oppose Democrat Jessica Scarcella-Spanton in the general election for the open seat.