ALBANY – OK, weather-watchers. Looking for a clue to the impact weather might have on the all-important turnout equations for Tuesday’s elections?
Don’t expect weather to play a major role, if the Weather Channel is correct with its forecast for communities across New York on Tuesday.
To affect turnout, Republicans and Democrats have morphed into get-out-the-vote modes for Tuesday, with phone banks, printed material drop-off operations, advertising and candidate rallies all being pushed into high gear this week.
Theories abound about turnout: Democrats are not as motivated to vote, or at least not nearly at the levels of two years ago during the presidential campaign and that conservatives -- led by "tea party" backers -- are just itching at the chance to vote. Some say a number of hotly contested congressional campaigns will be the chief draw in some areas while others think a number of State Senate contests will help produce higher turnout in some areas of the state than others.
But in a Northeastern state such as New York, where weather can vary greatly in early November across the state, Tuesday looks remarkably boring weatherwise. There are no great snowstorms or heavy rain with lots of wind being forecast. And that means weather cannot be blamed by losing candidates for affecting turnout –- if the forecast for five days away turns out to be correct.
So, starting in, of course, Buffalo: mostly cloudy and a high of 47 degrees, according to the Weather Channel.
Southern Tier cities from Jamestown to Binghamton: almost the same forecast as Buffalo. So, too, the forecasts for Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown and Plattsburgh, where mostly cloudy or mostly sunny skies are expected with temperatures in the mid- to upper- 40s.
In the Albany area, more of the same: 51 degrees and mostly cloudy. Head down the Hudson Valley and into Westchester County and temperatures rise just a bit with, again, mostly cloudy skies. By the time you get to Brooklyn, the same for the skies but with milder temperatures with a high of 56 degrees. And out on Long Island, Hempstead in Nassau County and Riverhead in Suffolk County come in the same: mostly cloudy and 55 degrees.
-- Tom Precious