An analysis of the 118th Assembly District race between Jefferson County GOP candidate Bobby Cantwell and Jefferson County Democrat Addie Jenne Russell shows Russell favored for the seat in November.
A break down of the vote total shows Russell will, conservatively estimating, produce a 15 point margin, possibly as high as a near 30 point margin 64-36, in the St. Lawrence County portion of the 118th. Russell will find friendly faces in the towns of Canton, Hammond, Louisville, Massena, Potsdam and Waddington as well as the City of Ogdensburg, while Cantwell should be able to win the towns of Lisbon, Macomb, Morristown, and Oswegatchie and attempt to take Ogdensburg from Russell.
The towns of Canton, Massena, Potsdam and City of Ogdensburg will produce 50% of the vote totals for the entire county. The four areas are dominated by labor unions, with more industrial labor unions in Massena and Ogdensburg and service unions and academic Democrat friendly folks in the Canton and Potsdam, that favor Russell.
Ernie LaBaff, Fred Carter and the constituency of union members will heavily favor Democrat Russell, given the two candidates are virtually unknown in the St. Lawrence County portion. Their support could easily push her toward a 30+ point margin of victory in these areas alone, leaving Cantwell the possibility of winning the remaining portions by 5 points or less, and giving Russell an overall 25-30 point margin for the St. Lawrence portion of the 118th.
Russell will have a substantial lead before counting the Jefferson County ballots and Cantwell will have a steep climb. He will have to win Jefferson County by a similar margin that Russell took St. Lawrence County, 65-35, in order to produce a 50% + 1 win.
Cantwell will win the river Clayton and Alex Bay, possibly losing Darrel Aubertine's hometown of Cape Vincent and nearby Lyme, he will likely lose Addie Jenne Russell's legislative district of Philadelphia, Theresa, possibly picking up only the village of Antwerp, if GOP party chair Sandy Corey has enough juice to deliver it for him.
This will leave the battle ground for votes in the towns of Pamelia, Brownville and the City of Watertown. Cantwell will battle in Legislator Jim St. Croix's area as St. Croix tries to deliver the north portion of the city for Russell. The City of Watertown becomes key to Cantwell winning.
Cantwell has to win Ogdensburg and Watertown if he stands a chance, albeit slim. If the unions deliver Ogdensburg and St. Croix can deliver enough of the city, then that will be enough to keep the gap too close in Jefferson County and prove fatal for a Cantwell campaign.
In an earlier post on April 18, 2008 it was stated that a Jefferson County Republican would have a challenge winning this seat, the analysis remains true and is supported by the numbers.
Russell is building synergy with Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (DACC) with her trip to Albany that included her photo shoot, while GOP chairs Sandy Corey, Jefferson and Janet Kelly, St. Lawrence have an adversarial relationship with their counterpart in Albany, RACC.
The numbers along with DACC assistance favors a Russell win over Cantwell in the 118th race.