Ahead of New York City’s June 22nd Democratic mayoral primary election, Citizen Data, in partnership with FairVote, polled 800 likely Democratic voters to predict primary election results in the first citywide use of ranked-choice voting. Leveraging our national in-house voter file, we were able to target prospective respondents more accurately and simulate final results while actual results are currently pending, laying the groundwork for the future of political polling as ranked-choice voting becomes more widely adopted nationwide. 

While a small number of ballots left to be tallied before the ranked-choice tabulation will determine the final winner, our poll has proved to be highly accurate in predicting voters’ first-choice preference among top candidates. With over 80% of the vote tabulated, our candidate ranking for the top four vote getters squarely aligns with candidates’ current share of the vote. In addition, contrary to most polling data in the lead-up to the primary election, our results precisely predicted the percent of first-choice votes for former Brooklyn Borough President and frontrunner Eric Adams.

Source: FairVote

As a leading-edge research company using the latest in survey research and vote modeling techniques to deliver more accurate results, our methodology simulates the ranked ballot experience. In addition to the mayoral poll, our survey examined the behavioral and experiential effects of ranked-choice voting.

In general, voters embraced the new system: 

  • The overwhelming majority of respondents — 77% —are “very familiar” or “moderately familiar” with ranked-choice voting.
  • Across a diverse set of demographics, 82% of voters found the process of ranking candidates easy. 
  • 90% of respondents ranked more than one candidate, with 59% ranking all five. Poll respondents ranked four candidates on average. 
  • Nearly four times more voters — 37% — indicate that their power to rank candidates is more likely to bring them to the polls than those who say they are less likely to vote (10%). 

Over the last 16 months, Citizen has been a leader in analyzing and studying voter support for ranked-choice voting and other electoral reforms, and has collected tens of thousands of responses nationwide and in key states on voter attitudes towards the system. Last year, we worked closely with stakeholders to pass Ballot Measure 2 in Alaska, making Alaska the second state in the nation to adopt ranked-choice voting in statewide elections, among other reforms. However, New York City is by far the largest of the 21 jurisdictions currently using ranked-choice voting in their elections, paving the way for wider adoption across other states and cities and potentially changing the way millions of Americans vote in the future. 

You can find further results and additional information on our poll here.  

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