U.S. Rep. John Katko held off Democratic challenger Dana Balter to win a third term in Congress Tuesday. For the next two years, he will continue to represent the 24th Congressional District.
It was a hard-fought race. Katko, R-Camillus, acknowledged that Balter, a Syracuse Democrat, was a "tough opponent." Despite her well-funded campaign and spending by outside groups, Katko secured another term.
Here is a look at the 24th Congressional District election, by the numbers:
57.7 percent. The turnout level based on the number of votes cast on Election Day in the 24th district race. Turnout could increase slightly once the absentee ballots are counted. Turnout approached, but wasn't quite at presidential election levels. (There were more than 300,000 votes cast for either Katko or Colleen Deacon in 2016.)
243,378. The number of votes cast for either Balter or Katko on Tuesday. It's the most total votes in a Syracuse-area midterm congressional election since at least 1982, and it's the most since there were 217,633 total votes in the 2006 midterm.
129,276. The number of votes Katko received in winning a third House term. That total will increase once the absentee ballots are counted. It's the most votes received by a candidate in a Syracuse-area midterm congressional election since 2002, when then-U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh won re-election with 144,610 votes. In 2014, when Katko was first elected to Congress, he won that midterm election with 118,474 votes.
114,102. The number of votes Balter received in defeat. Before the absentee ballots are counted, her vote total is good for the fifth-highest among Syracuse-area midterm congressional candidates over the past four decades. She only trails Walsh's 144,610 in 2002, Katko's 129,276 this year and Walsh's 121,204 in 1998.
Even before the absentees are counted, she's received the most votes by a losing candidate in a Syracuse-area midterm congressional election dating back to 1982. The previous high was held by Dan Maffei, who received 107,108 votes in a narrow loss to Walsh in 2006.
1. The number of counties Katko has lost in three congressional elections. Balter won Onondaga County with 83,886 votes to Katko's 82,007 Tuesday night. Barring the absentee ballot count shifting that outcome, it appears Balter has won the county. It's the first time Katko has lost a county in his three appearances on the 24th Congressional District ballot.
22. The number of percentage points Katko won by in each of the three more rural counties, Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne. Katko has received strong support from each county in his congressional runs, but it was even more glaring Tuesday after Balter's performance in Onondaga County. In Cayuga County, for example, there are only 1,868 more active GOP voters (16,615 to 14,747) than Democrats. Despite the narrow enrollment advantage, the GOP candidate (Katko) won the county by 22 points.
$8 million-plus. More than $8 million was spent on the 24th district race, but that figure will likely increase once the year-end filings are released in early 2019. Outside groups, especially Democratic-aligned organizations, invested millions. GOP groups also chipped in. Both campaigns spent at least $2 million. Balter's expenditures include funds spent on the June primary.
6. It has been six years since a Democrat last won this seat. With Katko, Republicans have a tight grip on the 24th. That may change in 2020, especially if Democrats can increase turnout in two years. The voter enrollment in this district is trending their way. But for now, the seat remains in GOP control.