I believe that the race turned on one thing, which was given a cursory mention on your this blog, but a major mention in articles in Newsday and the New York Times, and that is the gerrymandering that occurred in 2002. In fact, in a Times article that was posted a couple of weeks ago, a Democratic strategist said that there was no way that King could lose because the district was carved out to guarantee him a win. I don't care what idiot King or the moron on Mejias Watch says, but it is aggravating that they think that King had a decisive win when the facts don't bear it out. And when you figure in the gerrymandering, it was an even closer race. I ran the numbers, and this is what I found:
Put the Nassau portion of Israel's district back in King's, and the Suffolk portion of King's district back in Israel's, and you get a 52-48 win for King. However, there is more to it than that. In the Nassau portion of Israel's district, only about 15,000 people voted, probably because the area is so heavily Democratic that the outcome was a foregone conclusion (it is so strong that Israel did barely any campaigning in the area).
In the Suffolk portion of King's district, about 36,000 people voted, probably because the race was viewed as being close, so all of the Republicans came out to vote. This is obviously only speculation, but I am betting that if the Nassau portion of Israel's district was back in King's, with the election being tight, and with Dave's tremendous GOTV effort, many more people would have turned out to vote for Dave, and we may have had a Congressman Mejias today.
For a comparison, just look at Ed Dane's race for District Court Judge. He had all of Oyster Bay and Glen Cove, and lost 52-48, with the Indy line making the difference. He became the first Democratic Judicial candidate in TOB to get more votes straight Democrat versus Republican lines. So, if you factor in those numbers with Long Beach, it is quite conceivable that Dave wins. Thus, when comparing Dave's numbers versus those of the past, it is even more impressive.
It is just unfortunate that the Democrats may be to blame for costing Dave the seat. Steve Israel, who is an excellent Congressman, was looking to shore up his seat, and made the deal with King, giving the Republicans a much smaller edge in registration. But, due to increased Democratic voter registration his district now has more registered Democrats than Republicans, which was clearly reflected in him garnering 70% of the vote.
It is therefore quite clear that he gained something that he really didn't need as I am sure he would have won easily without the Nassau portion (maybe 65%?), and it potentially cost the Democrats another House seat.
I know that there will be some gerrymandering with the Democrats in charge. Let's just hope that they have the sense to give the area back to King, but I have a feeling that they won't.