*Updated to reflect final results*

Ahead of New York City’s June 22nd Democratic mayoral primary election, Citizen Data, in partnership with FairVote, polled 800 Democratic likely primary voters in New York City and 400 Republican likely primary voters in the Staten Island municipal elections to predict 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. 

With final results tallied, our poll proved  to be highly accurate in predicting voters’ first-choice preference among top candidates. 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. Furthermore, our poll accurately predicted Eric Adams’ victory and candidate rankings through the second to last round, only failing to account for the Kathryn Garcia/Andrew Yang alliance that formed shortly after this poll was conducted. 

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%). 

Similar to Democratic primary voters in NYC, Republican voters in Staten Island’s municipal elections found ranking candidates straightforward and were already familiar with the process. A significant majority—70% —found the process of ranking candidates easy, while 6 in 10 were “very” or “moderately” familiar with ranked-choice voting. Furthermore, in the borough president and city council race, 82% and 74% of Republicans respectively ranked more than one candidate, signaling education efforts were effective with Republicans as well as Democrats. 

Over the last 15 months, Citizen has been a leader in analyzing and studying voter support for ranked-choice voting and other electoral reforms, and has collected more than 60,000 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 polls here and here