Two weeks after Newyorkers went to the polls and cast their ballots to elect the Democratic nominee for the mayorship of the biggest city in America, it appears that Brooklyn Borough President and former cop Eric Adams will become (unless there’s a colossal political surprise) the next mayor of New York City.
The NYC Board of Elections finally released the complete unofficial results of the election, where Adams manages to win a slim victory over Commissioner Kathryn Garcia after all preferences have been counted. Adams currently holds a small difference of 8,426 votes over Garcia, with 50.5% of the total vote to Garcia’s 49.5%.
Ranked-Choice voting, explained
This year’s election was strange due to New York’s decision to introduce a convoluted system of preference voting called Ranked-Choice voting. In this type of election, voters receive a different ballot than your usual election, where they mark their top candidate as their first preference and then proceed to select their second, third, fourth, and fifth preference.
At first, election officials will count all of the first preferences and tabulate them as any normal election. After all the first preferences are counted, the candidate with the least amount of votes will be eliminated and his or her votes would then be reassigned to the other candidates based on their second preferences. This process would continue until either one candidate has more than 50% of the vote or until only two candidates are left standing.
After the NYC Board of elections published the first-choice unofficial results on election night, the Board managed to bungle the tally of the vote in a spectacular way, with them publishing a report which accidentally included more than 130,000 false votes in the unofficial tally, which was then retracted, leaving the process in a chaotic status until the Board finally published the results tonight.
Eric Adams kept his lead throughout the counting process
According to the results published by the NYC Board of Election, Adams maintained a commanding lead during the first seven-round of voting. He managed to get at least 10% more than his closest rivals during most of the vote count, as rivals Garcia and Maya Wiley fought a very close battle for second place.
However, after Wiley was eliminated in the seventh round by less than 13,000 votes Garica managed to get a substantial amount of support in the eighth and final ballot, as many of those who supported Wiley or other candidates during most of the process selected the former Sanitation commissioner as either their second or third choice. In one single round, Garcia went from 30% to 49.5% of the vote, cutting Adam’s margin from 10% to one point.
Garcia had managed to broker an alliance with former frontrunner Andrew Yang during the final days of the campaign, with both candidates either explicitly or tacitly urging their supporters to rank the other candidate as their second choice. Although the alliance did not work for Mr. Yang, who got eliminated in the 6th round, it appears to have done wonders for Garcia, who net from trailing Wiley by 2 points to beat her for the second spot in the seventh round.
However, it was not enough for Garcia, as Adams managed to get just enough votes to jump from his 40.5% of the vote in the 7th round to get a tight majority in the final round. Although these returns are unofficial, the Brooklyn Borough President has virtually won the nomination for the mayoral race of NYC at the end of this year and since the New York City electorate is as blue as it gets, it is almost certain that Adams will cruise to victory once the general election is held later this year.
Adams managed to run a remarkable campaign, he annihilated the political career of Andrew Yang, who held a commanding lead in the polls at the beginning of the campaign and was able to defeat both Kathryn Garcia, who was endorsed by the New York Times, and Maya Wiley, who received the vocal support of progressive heavyweights like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren.
Eric Adams will now take the mantle from the unpopular mayor DeBlasio and will rule a city that is just recovering from the tragic human and economic toll of COVID-19, and that is facing a significant surge in violent crime in its streets, Adam’s challenge is to address these issues while maintaining decent popularity. If he manages to do that then he might try a future in national politics, after all, all his recent predecessors have tried (unsuccessfully) to run for president.