Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Skidmore College Hosts Review of Saratoga Springs Elections
In a recent review hosted by Skidmore College, students from Professor Bob Turner’s “Real Democracy” seminar presented survey results on the Saratoga Springs elections held this past November. The survey aimed to capture the differences in candidates’ campaigns and the impact of incivility in city council meetings.
One of the key findings of the survey, as highlighted by student Erick Maganda, was the stark contrast between the polarization witnessed in national politics and the bipartisan voting observed in local elections. This observation raises interesting questions about the factors that influence voters at different levels of government.
Among those interviewed was Republican Mayor-elect John Safford, who expressed his surprise at winning the election and discussed the issues that resonated with the voters. Safford’s campaign focused on addressing crime and homelessness, both hot topics in the city’s discussions.
Meanwhile, Democratic Commissioner of Public Safety Jim Montagnino faced defeat in his bid for a second term amid an ongoing feud with Mayor Kim. Montagnino commented on the split within the Democratic Party and emphasized the importance of unity for success.
Controversy arose when the City Democratic Committee withdrew its endorsement of Montagnino before the election, causing much speculation and debate. The survey also revealed that nearly 30% of voters made their decision on who to vote for either days before or on the day of the election, suggesting the fluid nature of voter preferences.
Student Emily Landolfi shared the reactions of the class to these last-minute developments and highlighted the hopeful atmosphere at the parties on election night. It is clear that the students had a keen interest in the outcome of the elections and were eager to analyze the various dynamics at play.
Interestingly, the class accurately predicted Safford’s victory in the election, as highlighted by student Nathaniel Lewis. This demonstrates the analytical skills and understanding of local politics possessed by the students.
Overall, Skidmore College’s review of the Saratoga Springs elections sheds light on the important themes and insights that can be gained from studying local politics. The survey results showcase the nuances of candidate campaigns and the impact of intra-party conflicts, all of which contribute to the broader understanding of democratic processes at the local level.