The Weekly Wonk: NY Senate District #48

Welcome to the #weeklywonk. This is my weekly blog about statistics, registration data, and election law on my website, This is a rebrand of my #wonkywednesday and #sundaythoughts columns I have been writing since 2020. In merging these two side projects together I am hoping to be a little more regular in my production. I have also not tied myself to a particular day to release these columns, hoping to release them weekly on the weekend. This way I can have more time to gather the statistics and resources that I want to devote to these articles. This week I examine New York Senate District #48.

Redistricting brought a great deal of change to the New York Senate districts. While Senators May and Mannion avoided having to run against each other, their districts went through transformative change. Senator Rachel May represented the old #SD53 which morphed into the new #SD48. There were some similarities in the old district, mainly the City of Syracuse and the southeast corner of Onondaga with the towns of Fabius, Lafayette, Pompey, and Tully. However, the northern towns of Salina & Cicero as well as the eastern portion of the district with Madison County and a small portion of Oneida was removed. The new district goes west, it added the “DeFrancisco Peninsula” of the City of Syracuse as well as the southern and western tows like Onondaga, Otisco, Spafford, Marcellus, Skaneateles, Elbridge, Van Buren, and Lysander. They also added the entire county of Cayuga including the City of Auburn.

The new #SD48 is definitely a Democratic leading district. Democrats have the plurality of voters (39%) with 76,011 enrolled voters. Republicans are in second place (28%) with 53,340 voters. The Non-enrolled though is right behind (26%) with 50,433 voters. Regionally this district is best summed up into four different regions. The City of Syracuse is 37% of the district with 70,675 voters. The towns of Onondaga in the district are the largest region with 38% of the district with 74,006 voters. The city of Auburn makes up 8% of the district with 14,914 voters and the rest of Cayuga is 17% if the district with 33,301 voters.

The districts changed so much after redistricting it is almost worthless to look at the history of the district, but I will do so anyway. The old #SD53 district was a solid Democratic district. During its inception in 2012 and 2020 Democrats gained by 4,021 voters. The GOP lost 1650 voters. The Non-enrolled gained the most with 5,579 voters. Redistricting saw all three gains significantly with Democrats adding 7,820 voters, GOP adding 8,239 voters, and the N/E adding 6,968 voters. This is because the upstate districts needed to add significant population as the Census showed stagnation upstate seven growths downstate. Upstate districts, which were underpopulated in 2012 to cement GOP majorities, had to add population which means more voters as well.

Of the four distinct regions of this district, it is clear that Syracuse has the most potential to carry weight in the district. Though it is second in voter population, the overwhelming partisan lean of Syracuse (+30,298 DEM) is what drives this district’s Lean Democratic ratings. The City of Auburn has a similar Democratic partisan advantage (+2,234 DEM) but somewhat less pronounced & much less population. Both Urban cores the GOP are in third place behind the N/E voters. The most populous region, the towns of Onondaga, does have a solid GOP Lean (+4774 GOP). So do the Towns of Cayuga (+5,087 GOP). Democrats though have solid second place finishes in these regions as opposed to the GOP in Democratic regions.

Since this is the first year of the new district, we do not have any true prior results on which we can rely. I am using a Frankenstein method to compile data and get an idea on how this district might perform comparing the 2020 Presidential and Congressional and 2018 Governor. If this district were in place in 2020 it would have voted for Biden by an overwhelming 18.2 points. However, the district only barely supported Dana Balter by 2.94 points and Cuomo by .98 points in 2018. However, in both races there were third party Democratic leaning candidates (Steve Williams on WFP in 2020, and Stephanie Miner on SAM in 2018) that could have split off Democratic votes.

Rachel May did win the old #SD53 by double digits both times she ran, 10.08 points in 2020, and 13.77 in 2018. She out polled both Cuomo and Balter in those races as well. According to NY Redistricting and you, the new #SD48 & old #SD53 can be expected to perform the same as Biden won #SD53 by 18.6 and won #SD48 by 18.2 points.

Senator Rachel May (D) is running for re-election in #SD48. She will appear on the Democratic and Working Families Party Line. She has served in the NY State Senate since 2018. She is running against Julia Abbott (R) who is a sitting Onondaga County Legislator. There is a third-party candidate on the Conservative line Justin Corretti (C) from the Auburn area.

That does it for this edition of the #weeklyWonk. Next week I will continue my run finishing races on the ballots this year. I will start out with finish my look at the state legislature races with NY Senate district fifty as well as the towns of Manlius, Onondaga, and Pompey. Check back each week & subscribe to for all content and elections updates.

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