Monday, October 4, 2010

New York a little less blue?

New York has been a Democratic state for three generations but until recently has elected quite a number of Republicans to Congressional seats as well as statewide offices. However, in the last few election cycles, the Empire State has turned deep blue. There are only two GOP members of the US House that are from New York, the other twenty-seven are Democrats. This year, however, the GOP should have at least some success turning districts red that have been held by Republicans in the recent past.

In CD 1, Tim Bishop represents the eastern tip of Long Island. This is a rare disrict that is almost perfectly purple. He was first elected in 2002 by one percent and has cruised to reelection every time since then. This year, however, he's facing a stiff challenge and I expect him to lose.

CD 2 is most of the middle half of Long Island and is represented by Steve Israel who first won election in 2000. This is a light blue district that in the 1990's was represented by Rick Lazio, a moderate Republican who opposed Hillary Clinton for Senate in 2000. Like Bishop, Israel is facing a tough challenge but he's in a better position to win in this majority-Democratic district.

Mike McMahon represents Staten Island and a part of Brooklyn in CD 13. This district was represented by Vito Fosella, a popular GOP Congressman until his downfall in 2008 due to a number of personal lapses. His late exit from the 2008 race enabled McMahon to prevail. As a first-term Democrat he's very vulnerable and I wouldn't be surprised if this district returns to GOP control in November.

John Hall represents a large part of the Hudson Valley in CD 19, a light red section of New York State. He was able to capitalize on formerly GOP strongholds like Westchester County to deliver enough Democratic votes to barely win in 2006. His problem is one that will be faced by Democrats who run statewide in 2008; counties like Westchester that have been blue are turning red again in a big hurry and its here that New York's elections for Governor and Senator are won or lost. Hall has been trailing in early polls and his GOP challenger is a strong bet to win in November.

Scott Murphy represents rural eastern New York in a slightly red district. First elected in 2009 in a special election by only about 700 votes, he's high on the GOP's hit list.

Bill Owens represents northern New York in CD 23 and should be very vulnerable in a district that has voted Republican in almost every election since the Civil War. He was first elected in a strange three-way race in 2009. Luckily for Owens, the GOP is running a candidate and the New York Conservative Party is as well and that will probably split the vote allowing Owens to return for his first full term.

Mike Arcuri represents central New York in CD 24 and is in a very tough fight in a light-red district. He won by four percentage points in a heavily Democratic year in 2008 so he's going to be in the fight for his political life next month.

CD 29 is a fairly red district in southwest New York and is currently vacant. Eric Massa, first elected in 2008 resigned abruptly last March after lurid details about his personal life were revealed. This district will almost certainly return to he GOP in November.

Of course the big prize is the Senate seat held by Kirsten Gillibrand. She is ahead in her race to win the remaining two years of Hillary Clinton's Senate term but Joe GioDuardi is running a fairly strong campaign. A virtual unknown a couple of months ago, he's got a small shot at toppling Gillibrand. If he wins he could claim the seat immediately for the lame-duck session in November but it would take a perfect storm for him to ride the wave to Washingon. Indeed, New York is in a chaotic situation; high unemployment, a state government that can't seem to get much done and a very angry (some would say scared) electorate. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the GOP could win all kinds of offices in the Empire State after years of defeat after defeat in races up and down the ballot.


The Snitch

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