From Hillary Clinton to state senate candidates, New York Democrats had an underwhelming performance on Tuesday.
The showing was particularly poor in the Hudson Valley region and on Long Island, where Democrats believed there were multiple seats up for grabs. It’s not clear if the Democrats will pick up any of these seats, but they have a shot in one race where their candidate is up by 33 votes (I will do an analysis of this race in a future post, but now my gut says the Republicans will hold the seat because the Democrat closed the gap late).
The results in the Hudson Valley were particularly troubling for the Democrats, as the only improvements from 2012 appear to be by incumbent Sen. George Latimer in the 37th Senate District and the result of a two-way race in the 41st Senate District, which was a three-way race in 2012.
The most depressing result for the Democrats in the Hudson Valley has to be the 39th Senate District, where Democrat Chris Eachus only lost by about 5 percentage points in 2012. In the rematch, Sen. William Larkin won by nearly 16 percentage points.
It also appears that Sen. George Amedore has cemented his hold on the 46th Senate District after narrowly losing his first attempt in 2012. His performance in Ulster County was especially impressive, as he was destroyed there four years ago and split the county this time around.
Among the seats the Democrats hoped to pick up on Long Island the biggest improvement compared to 2012 was the 5th Senate District. There was a massive improvement in the 8th Senate District, but that wasn’t anticipated until a late scandal, and much better numbers in the 9th Senate District, but a Democrat is an incumbent there now.
In the 6th Senate District, where Democrats hoped to knock off Sen. Kemp Hannon, the Republicans did better than in 2012. And in the 7th Senate District, which was an open seat and considered the Democrats best chance for a gain, they did only slightly better than in 2012.
One rationale for the Long Island showing by the Democrats could be the short coattails of Clinton, who took a smaller share of the vote there than President Barack Obama did in 2012.
None of this is good news for the Democrats and their quest to win back the state senate. Based on these performances it appears their hopes for winning any of these Long Island or Hudson Valley seats (prior to the next presidential election) are contingent on unique circumstances such as a strong third-party candidate in the race, a special election or a corruption issue.