I've been discussing the City Hallways presidential straw poll results with politicians and political reporters to better understand why Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton and John Kasich, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio were top vote getters - in that order - with Ted Cruz way in the distance.
Mostly what I heard is consider who voted, don't forget this is an unscientific poll (so subject to abuse, and also not representative of the full electorate) and that all participants were allowed to vote in both the GOP and Democratic races.
There were 132 people voting in the poll, and 113 disclosed political affiliations - 58 percent Democrats, 27 percent unaffiliated or minor party; and 15 percent Republicans. So not a lot of self-described Republicans voted.
Given all that, starting with the GOP vote, Kasich comes out on top, with 28 percent of the vote, since he's viewed as the most moderate in the group, and therefore likely got support from Democrats and left-leaning unaffiliated as well as more liberal "urban Republicans." The Trump vote - 22 percent - could reflect Buffalo's so-called Paladino Republicans, the "I'm mad as hell" GOP sector. Also, Trump is from New York, so that gives him bonus points.
In the Democratic straw poll, Buffalo and New York State are viewed as Hillary Country, but the City Hallways straw poll, being online, likely attracted a disproportionate number of younger, millennials who make up Bernie's key support, giving Sanders the 47 to 39 edge over Clinton. The 14 percent voting for Martin O'Malley could be the Republicans voting in the straw poll.
The other option is that all the real polls are wrong, and that Sanders really is cutting into Clinton's New York base, especially in urban areas where a disproportionate number of people feel disenfranchised by the current political system, as well as Clinton's campaign of pragmatism versus Sanders' call for revolution. Or, another option: non-Democrat Hillary haters rigged the poll.
In fact, I was reminded, with both the GOP and Democratic results, it's important to remember this was a very unscientific straw poll, subject to shenanigans, such as supporters of one candidate stacking the deck with votes. But I don't think City Hallways readers would do that.
And the crime stats
I want to follow up a bit more on the mayor's State of the City over the course of this week. First, let's talk crime stats.
Overall crime in Buffalo, Brown said during his speech, is down 32 percent since 2005; and 2015 stats, he said, show the lowest number of overall crimes in recorded city history.
I checked the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports to see what has been happening with per capita crime. The most recent full-year FBI reports are for 2014. I found per capita crime dropped by about a third from 2005 - which is the year before Brown took office - to 2014, and that the city's population dropped by about 9 percent during that period.
I also found crime has been falling nationwide during much of the time Buffalo's crime has been dropping, so Buffalo's per capita crime remains relatively high. For the first six months of 2015, per capita crime in Buffalo was 24 per 1,000 residents, compared with 21 per 1,000 in Rochester; 20 per 1,000 in Syracuse and 10 per 1,000 in New York City, according to FBI uniform crime report statistics.
Just violent crimes in those cities - excluding property crimes - during those first six months of 2015 was: Syracuse: 3.65 per 1,000 residents; Rochester: 4.06; and Buffalo: 5.02. New York City was 2.74.
Here's the website for the FBI Uniform Reports crime statistics.
Also, if you didn't get a chance to hear Mayor Brown's speech, you can read it here: 2016 State of City speech
Common Council committee meetings, starting wtih Civil Service and Finance in the morning, and Community Development and Legislation in the afternoon.