Saratoga County’s streak of picking presidential winners is still intact after absentee ballots tipped the county into Joe Biden’s column, according to official results posted Tuesday.
The county has now backed every winner of the national presidential election since 2000, a 6-0 streak that will stand until at least 2024 and solidifies the county as the one true national political bellwether in the Capital Region.
While President Donald Trump led Biden with 51 percent of Election Day machine votes, Biden surpassed Trump by winning 75 percent of nearly 24,000 absentee ballots cast in the county. Biden ended up winning 51.6 percent of the county’s over 130,000 votes in the presidential race.
Biden also managed to flip Rensselaer County, which went for Trump in 2016.
Final certified results were still trickling in this week as counties finished their official election results on varied timelines. Saratoga posted its final results Tuesday afternoon. Schoharie County posted final tallies last week. But official results for Schenectady, Albany, Fulton and Montgomery counties were still not available as of Tuesday evening.
Schenectady County officials on Tuesday said they expected all results to be certified Wednesday except those for the 46th Senate district, which are part of ongoing litigation.
The final county tallies mark the final stages of the election process, but a Siena College poll released Tuesday found a significant share of New Yorkers who still aren’t sure of how it went. The poll found that 20 percent of New Yorkers said we still do not know who won the presidential election, while nearly 10 percent, including one-quarter of Republicans, said Trump won re-election. State certifications this week continued to cement Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 election, thanks largely to an enormous share of absentee ballots that have been counted in New York and around the country over the past three weeks.
A majority of New Yorkers, by a 65-31 margin, said that Trump should immediately cooperate with the incoming Biden administration to ensure a smooth transition of power rather than exhaust all other remedies before beginning a transition, according to the poll. (Trump on Monday night expressed support for a federal official’s decision to officially enable a Biden transition into office.)
The poll found that New Yorkers by wide margins think lawmakers should prioritize addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and a majority, 57 percent, said they supported allowing the governor to continue to use extraordinary executive powers in responding to the pandemic.
The new poll also outlined support for some specific policies that could be on the table when lawmakers return to session in January: 60 percent of respondents supported legalizing recreational marijuana use; 58 percent supported permanent changes to allow voters to use absentee ballots for any reason in future elections, and 50 percent supported legalizing online betting.
The poll also pointed to a possible emerging challenge for public health officials looking to administer COVID-19 vaccines over the coming months: while nearly 70 percent of respondents said they would “definitely” or “probably” take an FDA-approved vaccine, 24 percent said they would “probably not” or “definitely not” take the vaccine.