High voter turnout may indicate 'Blue Wave' in WNY

Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 17:49:38-04

So many democrats came out to vote in this year's primaries in Erie County that some polling places actually ran out of ballots.

"I think what you saw today was people who were energized and excited," Jeremy Zellner, Erie County Democratic Election Commissioner, said.

According to the Erie County Board of Elections, more than 75,000 democrats voted in this year's primaries. In the last gubernatorial primary, just over 58,000 democrats voted. 

Even though some polling places ran out of ballots momentarily, Zellner said polling places will be better prepared next time.

"This isn't unheard of. This happened before. This is something we take very seriously, and it won't happen next time."

He added that the doesn't think anybody wasn't given the opportunity to vote.

"I believe everybody who wanted to vote tonight did vote."

Such a strong turnout is leading some like Erie County Republican Legislator Kevin Hardick, to beleive a blue wave is rolling through Western New York.

"It does seem that the democrats are energized, and if this does carry over to November then republicans will have something to worry about," he said.

In Erie County, there are 130,000 more registered democrats than republicans. 

Hardwick is also a political science professor at Canisius College. He said that an increase in political activity on either side isn't new. On a national level, the party of the President in power tends to lose seats in the midterm elections.

"I think you saw the same thing back in 2010. Republicans lost to Obama in 2008, and you get the start of th tea party, and they came out big time in the midterms in 2010."

This increased political activity could affect the Collins/McMurray race, but Hardwick said he doesn't think it will be too impactful.

"Im not sure I would dismiss Nate McMurray as quickly as that. I think things can happen. The dynamics of that race could be such that republicans could be in for a surprise, but I wouldn't bet on it."

However, he did add that the gubernatorial election could be swayed because of increased political interest on the side of the democrats.

Referencing the chances of Marc Molinaro against Governor Cuomo, Hardick said, "Unfortunately for him its a bad year for a good republican candidate because of this blue wave thing." 


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