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This math may be trickier than it looks.
Looking ahead to November, in a 60th State Senate District race that will pitch incumbent Republican Mark J. Grisanti against Democratic newcomer Michael L. Amodeo, there are already - as the primary dust settles following Thursday's vote - some perplexing questions nagging those paying attention to this race.
One is resources.
Who will have the most money to spend, the best party support, and what effect will these resources have?
After all, the outcome of this single race - a marquee event drawing eyes from all over the state, even the nation - could play an important role in determining which party controls the State Senate after Jan. 1.
The stakes are high.
And the playing field is tilted - due to the district's roughly 3-to-1 Democratic enrollment advantage.
"We spent all the money that we raised in this campaign for the primary," said Amodeo, a Lake View resident, who estimated that his total campaign funding amounted to just under $60,000 for the primary.
"Going forward, we're going to have to try to raise as much money as possible," he said.
Grisanti had already pulled in about $325,000 in campaign funds between last summer and January, much of it from out-of-area donors responding to his controversial vote to approve same-sex marriage.
Grisanti said he will spend at least as much money on the general election as he did on the costly, hard-fought primary against Kevin Stocker.
"We have the necessary funds that we need, and we're going to spend every penny of it," said Grisanti, who estimated that the mail the day after his primary victory brought in between $40,000 and $60,000 from 20 to 30 donors.
But the results of the November election could have as much to do with old-fashioned politicking as with money, some observers said.
In other words: What candidate is better at getting out to knock on doors and meet with people face to face?
That realization had already occurred to the campaigns in time for Thursday's primary.
For example, for that one day alone, Grisanti had support from a number of Republican Party faithful from the Albany area - "easily over 100 people," according to Grisanti's aide Douglas J. Curella - who came to Buffalo to campaign for the incumbent by knocking on GOP doors, talking up voters and getting them to go to the polls.
"We have a lot of support, and they showed it on Election Day," Curella said. "They were out canvassing, knocking on doors. The name of the game was getting out the vote. We identified our voters beforehand, and we got them out on Election Day."
"We [even] had people walking the senator's own street, on Election Day," Curella said. "We take nothing for granted."
Now, in the general election, that sort of grass-roots, old-school effort is going to be even more necessary for a candidate to prevail, insiders said.
"The turnout is coming [out in November], because it's a presidential year. So it's really necessary for candidates to spend as much time meeting and talking with voters," said Nicholas A. Langworthy, chairman of the Erie County Republican Party. "This is about taking the message to the voters in the district."
Then there's the other big question: the Swanick X-factor.
Sure, Charles M. Swanick does not have a major party line for the 60th Senate seat, after losing in the Democratic primary to Amodeo. But he retains the Conservative Party line in the November election.
And you can never count Swanick out - something he has proved in the past, observers said.
"He did it in 2003," pointed out political analyst Carl J. Calabrese, a former Tonawanda Town supervisor who supported Grisanti in the primary. "He became the only person in Erie County history to win a seat in the County Legislature with a minor party line."
That doesn't mean Swanick will win the general election, observers said.
But he could very well draw crucial votes away from Grisanti or Amodeo - or both.
Especially if some general election voters disagree with Grisanti's votes on social issues, such as his vote last year to legalize gay marriage, which surely turned off some voters just as it pleased others.
Swanick did not return repeated calls from The Buffalo News.
"He's not going to win. But he's going to be a spoiler," Calabrese said of Swanick.
"The question is, which side does he spoil? ... That's an unknown."
Grisanti said that he was not underestimating the potential of Swanick to complicate his race in the general election.
"It's definitely a factor in a three-way race," Grisanti said.
He said he thinks he is more of a true conservative than Swanick, whose snaring of the Conservative line was more about "politics" than facts, according to Grisanti.
"He doesn't have conservative values," Grisanti said of Swanick. "My voting record is, I'm very fiscally conservative."
Amodeo, among others, has already been doing some of these calculations for himself.
He believes that Swanick's remaining in the race on the minor-party line will be better for him than for Grisanti.
"I think he helps me," said Amodeo, a lawyer at the Damon Morey firm in Buffalo. "I think he should be looked at as somebody who helps the Democrats win this race."
Amodeo said that with roughly 35,000 more Democrats than Republicans in the district, which stretches from Grand Island in the north to Brant in the south, Grisanti has an uphill battle.
If some of the more conservative GOP voters turn against Grisanti and vote for Swanick over the same-sex marriage issue, Amodeo said, that could prove an unbeatable obstacle to the incumbent.
"Sen. Grisanti would have to make up the difference in Republicans that are voting for Chuck Swanick," said Amodeo, 32. "He's going to have to add Democrats, and then thousands more on top of that, because of the makeup of the district.
"Last time I checked, a lot of Democrats don't vote Republican."

email: cvogel@buffnews.com