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GOP has actual shot at NY gubernatorial victory with Lee Zeldin


For months, Republicans have been telling anyone who would hear that that is the 12 months they are going to finish their energy outage in Albany. They cite violent crime and inflation, an obvious lack of enthusiasm for Gov. Hochul and a nationwide fury over the failures of the Biden administration. 

Despite these benefits, there’s been little proof thus far that the GOP might free New York from the Dem stranglehold. A Tuesday ballot begins to vary that. 

Hochul leads Republican Lee Zeldin by simply 14 factors, 53-39, within the Siena College survey. While 14 factors is hardly a cliffhanger, it compares very favorably to 2014. At this stage of that race, incumbent Andrew Cuomo led GOP nominee Rob Astorino by 32 factors in a race Cuomo received by 14. 

Moreover, Zeldin, who has represented a Long Island district in Congress since 2015, successfully begins with the 40% high-water mark of any GOP gubernatorial candidate within the final 4 elections. (George Pataki was the final Republican governor, profitable his third time period in 2002). 

So closing a 14-point hole with greater than three months till Election Day is definitely doable, particularly given the political setting and Hochul’s uneven efficiency. 

Zeldin, in a cellphone interview, sees many greenshoots within the new survey and says his inside ballot has him even nearer. 

“This is essential for our staff,” he says. “The subsequent ballot ought to present us gaining much more momentum.” 

Governor Hochul

A brand new ballot exhibits Zeldin’s race is way nearer with Gov. Kathy Hochul than different current GOP gubernatorial candidates have been.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

The Siena survey is a very powerful for the reason that primaries ended and relies on doubtless voters, versus registered. It exhibits each candidates having a agency grasp on their party, with Zeldin holding a slim lead amongst independents. 

A lacking piece is that, apart from gun management and abortion, the ballot doesn’t ask about particular points. Nor does it ask voters to rank the problems most essential to them. 

Zeldin has no doubts about what the solutions could be to a rating query. 

“When we ask, a big majority reply both crime or the financial system as the highest concern,” he says. “And we imagine that the election might be dominated by voters most involved about these two issues.” 

His marketing campaign has zeroed in on these targets and his pledge to fire Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Day One has change into a signature promise. He accuses Hochul of “giving cowl” to Bragg and different soft-on-crime prosecutors. 

“She tries means too laborious to keep away from speaking about the important thing points,” he insists. He cites Mayor Adams’ request for a particular legislative session to take care of crime and the bail-law mess that has seen repeat offenders let go earlier than cops end the paperwork. 

Alvin Bragg
Zeldin pledged to return for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg if he have been elected.
Steven Hirsch

Hochul, whereas voicing help for fellow-Dem Adams, has carried out nearly nothing to assist him stem the bloodshed and mayhem in Gotham. 

Zeldin was attacked during a recent speech by a troubled former veteran, an incident that in all probability helped him acquire some identify recognition and even sympathy. 

He is aware of his pro-life stance puts him at a disadvantage with many citizens after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But he notes {that a} legislation providing much more abortion protections than Roe already exists in New York and believes that social points as a complete will take a again seat to the crime wave engulfing a lot of the state, together with the hovering price of residing. He can also be pushing for tax cuts and extra faculty selection. 

In addition to his personal efforts, the redistricting course of that ended up within the courts and led to nonpartisan maps provides GOP candidates an opportunity to enhance upon the seven congressional seats they now maintain, which ought to assist enhance turnout for the ticket. 

Meanwhile, Hochul’s tenure has been mystifying in a basic means. Even although she was Cuomo’s working mate and lieutenant governor Lieut. Gov. for eight years, she was in a position to escape any blame within the sexual-harassment scandal that led to Cuomo’s resignation by claiming she wasn’t near him. 

She was proper about that, and her distance led to hopes she would convey ethics and new openness to Albany, the place every little thing essential occurs in again rooms. 

Those hopes have been rapidly dashed as Hochul inexplicably copied a few of Cuomo’s worst habits. No sooner had she taken the oath than she started speed-dialing his donors for big-bucks contributions. 

David Jakubonis attacks Rep. Lee Zeldin as he delivered a speech in Perinton, New York on July 21.
An attacker grabs Zeldin as he delivered a speech in Perinton, New York on July 21.
WHEC-TV/AP

And her penchant for secrecy in negotiating big government deals with donors is so Cuomo-like that it appears as if he’s nonetheless calling the photographs. 

Perhaps most surprising, her first decide to switch her, state Sen. Brian Benjamin, was already ensnared in a federal corruption probe. Much of Albany apparently knew one thing was up — however not Hochul. Benjamin has since been indicted and resigned. 

In some methods, statewide elections in New York are a jigsaw puzzle of competing dominance. Republicans win many of the 62 counties and do particularly properly upstate, however Dems run up the rating by capturing the cities and probably the most populated suburbs. 

Zeldin has a plan for that. He sees getting 29% because the naked necessity within the 5 boroughs and believes he’ll high that margin simply, partly by attracting massive numbers of Asian and Latino voters involved about crime. 

“If a Republican will get lower than 29% within the metropolis, it’s laborious to win,” he tells me. “But in case you get to 35% or 36%, it’s laborious to lose.” 

He additionally says he wants 60% of Suffolk County, his base, 55% of Nassau County and simply 43% of Westchester. In reality, he has a goal for every county and, in his thoughts, is assembling a marketing campaign that can put him excessive throughout the board. 

Rep. Zeldin waving on stage
Zeldin speaks to delegates and assembled party officers on the 2022 NYGOP on March 1.
John Minchillo/AP

As regular, there’s one other hurdle for the underdog — cash. Zeldin raised $13 million for the contested main and spent almost all of it. He has a full schedule of fundraisers, however doesn’t faux to imagine he’ll have Hochul’s huge bucks. 

Incumbency has its benefits. 

Party’s For‘phrase’ folly

Reader Joe Alloy asks “What’s in a reputation” and solutions his personal query. He writes: “Andrew Yang and Christine Todd Whitman have started a 3rd party known as The Forward Party. 

“Has anybody informed them that ‘Forward’ was a Marxist slogan which mirrored the march of historical past past capitalism and into socialism and communism? Or are they only displaying us who they are surely?”


AP Headline: Biden Covid sequel: again on balcony, canine for firm

Alternative headline: Biden lastly has a buddy!


It’s ‘bench’ press time

Reader Christian Browne has a query and an thought, writing: “Mayor Adams has a Criminal Justice Coordinator. Where is that this particular person? This workplace ought to have the stats on the judges, on the bail/no-bail releases and on these ridiculous diversion applications. 

“Adams might use the info to focus on the speed of recidivist offenders. I guess he would discover these applications — the ‘alternate options to incarceration’— are largely in charge for the revolving door.”

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