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GOP Trend in New York City Is Canary in the Coal Mine for Democrats

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2023
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AMAC Exclusive – By Arthur Camman

China Parade in New York City with Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, and Congressman Schumer
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, and Senator Chuck Schumer walking in the NYC Lunar New Year Parade.

It is hard to get 82% of Americans to agree about anything. Yet 82% of New York state voters believe the migrant crisis is a major problem, according to a poll from Siena released last week.

Not a poll of Republicans, not a poll of all Americans, but New Yorkers. By a 46%-32% margin, New Yorkers say that migrants resettling in the state over the past 20 years have been a burden, not a benefit, and by a margin of 58%-36%, they want their leaders to focus on slowing the influx of migrants rather than assimilating those already present.

As for those leaders, the numbers cannot come as a comfort. New York’s Democrats got a scare in 2022. The “Red Wave” may have proved underwhelming in the Midwest and New England, even though it still delivered Republicans the U.S. House, but one place it hit at high tide was New York State. Governor Kathy Hochul won reelection by the narrow margin of 53%-47%, the worst performance for a Democrat in two-decades. Democrats lost four seats in the U.S. House, which, when combined with a two-seat loss in 2020, accounted for their entire national deficit.

It is hardly shocking, then, that Siena finds New Yorkers have soured on Governor Hochul. She has a net negative favorability rating (40%-46%) and her approval ratings are tied at 46%-46%. What is more of a surprise is that President Joe Biden has joined her in negative territory, with 46% approving of his performance as President and 50% disapproving. Among Democrats, only 47% believe the party should renominate Biden in 2024, while 46% believe the party should nominate a different candidate.

Furthermore, the poll calls into question a favorite theory of Democrats, both in New York and nationally. They prefer to argue that the party’s underperformance in the state in 2022 was due to local factors, such as crime, and the unpopularity of local officials, such as Governor Hochul. In this theory, the Republican “wave” filtered upward from the bottom, and voters did not actually intend to send the GOP congressmen they elected to Washington.

But this theory conveniently ignores Schumer’s historically weak performance in 2022 when an unfunded opponent won over 40% of the vote, and Republicans’ surprising strength in races for the State Senate.

Second, Democrats argue the backlash is about the management of issues, not their content. Voters are pro-immigration, pro-gun control, and pro-criminal justice reform. They just don’t like how those policy preferences have been implemented.

The Siena poll casts serious doubt on these assumptions. First, as previously mentioned, New Yorkers say that migrants resettling in the state over the past 20 years have been a burden by a margin of 46%-32%, which implies an opposition to open borders. While Joe Biden’s overall approval rating was 46%-50%, those numbers when it came to how Biden has “addressed the recent influx of migrants to New York” were 34%-59%.

Just as surprisingly, Siena found that New Yorkers had a more favorable opinion of their state and local leaders than their national ones. When asked whether New York State was on the right or wrong track, voters said it was on the wrong track by a margin of 48%-39%. When asked whether the United States was on the right or wrong track, the answer was 62%-30% wrong track.

Developments in New York State confuse national analysts because they do not make sense. It swung heavily toward Republicans in 2022 when nationwide the narrative was one of a Democrat overperformance. They are apt to seize on any ounce of comfort, such as Siena showing Biden leading Donald Trump by 13%, 47% to 34%, but the weakness of the Democrat Party in New York illustrates wider trends which tend to be lost in the shuffle of discourse by a media dominated by white-collar, often white, professionals, about the political swings of white, white-collar, professionals.

This is evident in the focus on states where the shift in voting habits of these groups has been most evident, such as Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, and ignoring the movements of other demographics. In 2016 this meant they foresaw suburban shifts which would allow Hillary Clinton to hold Colorado and Virginia, which voted for George W. Bush twice, but miss the Rust Belt collapse, which caused states which had gone for Al Gore such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Iowa to flip to Trump.

Where the Republican gains have been coming from in New York is also worth noting. Unlike in other parts of the country, where Republicans are making gains in rural areas and smaller cities to offset suburban losses, over the last three cycles, Republican gains have been driven by New York City itself. This trend must horrify media figures for whom New York’s rejection of Donald Trump and the Republican Party is a source of pride.

 

Statewide Democratic Vote

Statewide Republican Vote

New York City Democratic Vote

New York City Republican vote

2008 President

63%

36%

79%

20%

2010 Governor

63%

34%

78%

20%

2012 President

63%

35%

81%

18%

2014 Governor

54%

40%

76%

17%

2016 President

59%

37%

80%

17%

2018 Governor

60%

36%

80%

15%

2020 President

61%

38%

76%

23%

2022 Governor

53%

47%

69%

30%

Source: NYC Board of Elections

Between 2008 and 2018, the Republican vote remained relatively stable statewide. In both years, the Republican candidates won 36% of the vote. However, in New York City, the Republican vote declined, from 20% in the 2008 Presidential and gubernatorial races, to a mere 15% in 2018. The Republican level of support statewide remained stable because the Republican Party made gains outside of New York City. This allowed Donald Trump to win a higher percentage of the statewide vote in 2016 than John McCain did in 2008, despite performing 3% worse in New York City.

Something different happened in 2020. Donald Trump’s statewide results improved by 2%, but this time he fell back outside of the city. Instead, his improvement was driven by an 8% improvement in NYC, providing the best performance for a Republican presidential candidate there since 2004. Whereas Hillary Clinton won New York City by 65% in 2016, Joe Biden won it by 53% in 2020.

This shift prefigured the 2022 gubernatorial race. Lee Zeldin, the Republican, performed well upstate and on Long Island, but New York City swung more heavily Republican than the state at large. Statewide, Hochul performed 7% worse than Cuomo did in 2018, and Zeldin did 9% better than Molinaro, the 2018 GOP nominee. But in New York City, Hochul did 11% worse than Cuomo’s 2018 performance, while Zeldin nearly doubled Molinaro’s support from 15% to 30%.

It is an article of faith that the Republican Party in general, and Donald Trump in particular, are unpopular in urban areas, and especially New York City. Obviously, there is truth to that. Even with the gains the GOP has made, New York City remains solidly Democrat.

Nonetheless, what makes the political trends in New York State since 2018 stand out is that they defy the national narrative. That narrative is one in which the Republican Party is increasingly becoming the party of rural areas and small towns, while the Democrats, the party of the cities, steadily makes inroads into the suburbs.

That is not the case in New York State, and likely helps explain why the 2022 midterms went differently there than in other parts of the country. In New York State, GOP gains in 2020 and 2022 were driven not by gains in rural areas or small towns but by New York City itself–by making gains into Asian American, Jewish, and Latino areas which had previously voted for Democrats but found themselves out of place in a sectarian Democrat Party. The Siena poll indicates these trends are set to continue, with Biden leading Trump by a margin of “only” 56%-27%, around Hochul’s 2022 result, which is all too plausible.

This trend terrifies the younger members of the Democrat media and staffer class because it is an indictment on their own vision of the party.

Arguably no location is more closely tied to the modern Democratic Party than New York City. Whereas “San Francisco values” became a term synonymous with the party in the 2000s, and Boston might have been seen as the intellectual heart of the party during the Obama years, the last decade has seen both fall by the wayside.

When it comes to the ideological failures of governing on the West Coast, Portland and Seattle have overtaken San Francisco in public consciousness. As for the culture of younger Democrats, both the crypto-turned-Artificial Intelligence “Bros” of Silicon Valley and the consultants and lawyers of Boston are too economically secure to represent the values and concerns of millennial Democrats. Both Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg appear the icons of quant interest groups, resented by the followers of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not least because many of them can afford their student loans. Many may be married and have kids, providing concerns about crime and education viewed as heretical by a Democrat Party whose electoral margins are increasingly dependent on the votes of single men and women.

The New York City Democratic Party, therefore, is the closest thing to an experiment in what the party of the 2030s will behave like in government that can be found. It is an electorate that, by electing Bill de Blasio, a far-left white male married to a black, ex-lesbian Marxist, indicated that ideology mattered more than governance. By prohibiting police from enforcing noise complaints and suppressing third parties in 2017, it asserted itself as a fully Marxist class party, only in this case the class was that of urban professionals.

When that drove African Americans, white ethnic voters, and Republicans into allying to elect Eric Adams, an African American former police officer, as mayor in 2021, they learned little, denouncing every action undertaken by the “cop” who had the temerity to call out the Biden administration on immigration. They compartmentalized Hochul’s near loss, and the defeat of Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney.

The trends in New York City are a canary in the coal mine for national politics. They indicate that Republican messaging on migration, crime, and quality of life issues work. More dramatically, they indicate that the new, Ocasio-Cortez vision for the Democrat Party is a vote loser, even in the city in which it originated.

Democrats may be able to afford a 15% drop in support in New York City and still control the city itself. But that already helped cost them the U.S. House. If it is repeated in other urban areas, and the same groups which have turned against Democrats in New York begin turn against them elsewhere, the Democrat Party might want to rethink its celebration of long-term trends, ot to mention its focus on legal procedures against Donald Trump to the exclusion of the border and immigration.

Arthur Camman is the pseudonym of a regular writer on current affairs who has taught history at the University level for eight years. He has worked on Capitol Hill, and is familiar with the historical development of the American and British political systems.

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PaulE
PaulE
8 months ago

Nice “Happy Face” article that once again tries to gin up false hope that the vast majority of NY state voters will finally “wake up” and vote the Democrats out of power. While the majority of NY state residents may indeed be fed with the increased cost (currently housing and medical care and soon to be additional school and other costs), escalated crime rates from ruinous Democrat policies and all the other effects of mass illegal migration, I will bet you that given a choice in the next election cycle between repeating the same insane history of electing straight-line Democrats or trying a slate of Republicans for a change, the vast majority of voters will continue to vote Democrat. While the majority of NY state residents may indeed be fed up, they’ve been fed up in the past many, many times and the result has been to simply elect more Democrat politicians, that only continue to make matters worse.

Democrat voters are NOT driven by logic or rational thought. They are driven by emotion and the desire for more “free stuff”, which they end up paying for in one form or another. Yes, conditions in NY state, as well as every other Democrat run state, has only gotten worse, but getting Democrat voters to change their ingrained pattern of voting will require things to get substantially worse.

As for the loss of 5 seats in the House of Representatives, the NY Democrats already have a case before a judge that will invalidate the last congressional districting map for the state and turn all 5 of those districts back to Democrat control. That will effectively flip the House of Representatives back to Democrat control after the 2024 elections if the Democrat appointed judge handling the case rules in their favor. See the Democrats don’t just accept the will of the people. They take action to ensure that will is nullified and Democrats are once again back in power.

The author needs to get out of the Washington, D.C. beltway more and take a look at what is actually happening in NY state before writing more of this pablum.

Rik
Rik
8 months ago

New York? . . . STUPID IS, STUPID DOES! What’s changed? . . . Democrats will ALWAYS rein Supreme! . . . The problem is that Democrats are the majority because the majority of people are stupid!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
8 months ago

You’d think ppl living in these blue states would understand the definition of insanity and STOP repeating the same behaviors and VOTE SMARTER.

The American
The American
8 months ago

the the biden, Pelosi, obummer, Hillary swamp have sold us out to china and
have left the border opened to murder, drugs, illegals, and they are DIRECTLY

  1. RESPONSIBLE for the death of border patrol agents, & citizens. They need be removed from office and prosecuted.
Jeri
Jeri
8 months ago

Until the black culture studies and understands what is holding them down in modern day slavery they will remain there. Choices have consequences. Nothing I can say or do to help.

anna hubert
anna hubert
8 months ago

People of NYC must be comatose Only a massive jolt will wake them up Only then it might be late

Mytake
Mytake
8 months ago

It’s about time more New Yorkers woke up to reality. Hopefully many more will follow and vote out some more Dems???? Not sure what to call them.

DDS
DDS
8 months ago

The cover photo alone should be enough for all but the blind to reconsider who they vote for. Chuck who stood on the steps of the Supreme Cort and threatend a newly appointed judge. Fancy Nancy who chose to bow on the floor of Congress as though speaking for every citizen in the country, and Houchel who is competeing with Newsome for which govenor can ruin a state fastest. Wake up America. Wake up and smell the ashes of this once great country.

Terry Serbus
Terry Serbus
8 months ago

I live in the crazy state of MN., can’t fix stupid this easy!!!!

Lynn
Lynn
8 months ago

The aren’t migrants. Stop the euphemisms. Illegal aliens is the accurate description.

Allan E Brem
Allan E Brem
8 months ago

Once they are elected, there is no telling how people claiming to be GOP or Republican are going to act. I trust President Trump and the Freedom coalition. The first thing President Trump did was to appoint Jeff Sessions. He has completed a lot and seems to slowly but surely learn from his mistakes. Mark Levine stated clearly Sunday that the Democrats are in revolution against our republic, but he didn’t offer a solution as to what to do if, by hook or by crook, they retain their criminal activities.

Roy
Roy
8 months ago

That whole article has made me laugh.. all it is is somebody’s talking points.. does not help or cure any of the problems.. as if blah blah blah blah pile of Road apples will stop the lunacy..

MariaRose
MariaRose
8 months ago

Nicely said, the radical side as proposed by the Squad is going to eliminate a lot of voters from the Democrat candidates simply because they are proven in words and actions that they are only saying –do as I say and ignore my actions

SAW
SAW
8 months ago

Ahh… the pitiful majority of New Yorkers are confused and frustrated! Please someone, make them feel better about themselves.

Dennis
Dennis
8 months ago

No doubt the influx of illegals is a distraction to hide the crimes of the (longtime known) anti-civil rights character ‘Exalted Cyclops’-worshipping Joe Biden and that of his vulgar family and the First Crackhead. Illegals are also being used as his personal human shields plus to cover up his comical mega-jealousy against Prez Trump.

Backwoods
Backwoods
8 months ago

Democrat Voter “But They Promised” and they keep falling for it .(Dunning-Kruger Effect).

Newday
Newday
8 months ago

New Yokers must like torture because they keep putting these folks back in office after failure upon failure. It’s called “ignorance or ignoring of the truth”.

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
8 months ago

People are finally waking up to just how stupid the leftists are.

Thinking
Thinking
8 months ago

This is a nice article but being a sceptic I don’t think it will change the voting any in 2024. Democrats vote for the man not for the country. Not until it is too late. And it is already too late.

Helen
Helen
8 months ago

The useless RINO’s will beat the gop out of them, don’t worry.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
8 months ago

NY Goes Red???

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
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