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Political Trends In WNY



Buffalo, NY (WBEN) -- An examination of party registration figures in Western New York shows the continued dominance of the Democratic Party over the better part of two decades.

Not that it's helped them all that much on Election Day.

In brand new registration numbers from the State Board of Elections, Democrats represent just a sliver below half of all Erie County voters (49.5%). The Republicans are 2-to-1 underdogs, with 25.9% of registrations.

So, why are two Republicans -- Sheriff Tim Howard and Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw -- the incumbents in today's elections? It may be a tribute to the individual candidates, or an indication of the level of commitment from each party's voters.

The GOP will need that success going forward, because their slice of the pie has diminished over recent years. In 1996, Republicans made up 34.8% of registrations in the eight counties of Western New York. That number has dropped significantly -- to 30.3% now.

Where have those four and a half points gone? Not to the Democrats. Even though their total numbers increased, the percentage of Dem voters in WNY dropped slightly, from 45% in 1996 to 43.6% now.

The two biggest reasons appear to be Independence, and independents. Five percent of voters in the region identify themselves with the Independence Party. That's a 793% increase from the party's 0.7% percent in 1996. Also, the number of voters who opted for "no political affiliation" rose markedly -- from 15.4% to 18.1%.

Voter Registration, Western New York, 1996 & 2013
county year DEM REP CON IND other blank total
Allegany 2013 6572 13104 425 1296 19 4573 26206
Allegany 1996 7117 14835 411 224 n/a 3787 26806
Cattaraugus 2013 16399 18600 1090 2501 28 9839 48889
Cattaraugus 1996 17659 20681 1063 350 n/a 7506 48257
Chautauqua 2013 29332 27570 2092 5362 65 20095 85180
Chautauqua 1996 31349 32683 2286 603 n/a 18153 86606
Erie 2013 301873 157704 13067 28996 365 103240 609908
Erie 1996 291651 173641 12840 3621 n/a 82048 574345
Genesee 2013 9716 16138 904 1939 44 8110 37152
Genesse 1996 9655 15676 819 295 n/a 6433 33526
Niagara 2013 57785 45518 2997 6715 18 23905 138369
Niagara 1996 55555 48277 2442 775 n/a 19102 128988
Orleans 2013 5996 10969 557 1167 25 5245 24183
Orleans 1996 5606 11158 429 146 n/a 4611 22319
Wyoming 2013 6197 11542 532 1290 0 5361 25076
Wyoming 1996 6010 11234 442 196 n/a 3945 22267
WNY 2013 433870 301145 21664 49266 564 180368 994963
WNY pctg 1996 43.61 30.27 2.2 5.0 0.01 18.1  
WNY 2013 424602 328185 20732 6210   145585 943114
WNY pctg 1996 45.02 34.80 2.2 0.66   15.44  

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Topics : Politics
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Locations : BuffaloErie CountyNew YorkWestern New YorkWyoming
People : Stefan MychajliwTim Howard
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