The Results Are In
The November election results are already in. Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been elected to serve a full six year term. Based upon the State Board of Elections registration figures as of April 1, 2012 – New York continues to evolve into an overwhelming Democratic bastion.
Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2,821,021 voters. There are 5,649,934 registered Democrats versus 2,828,913 Republicans. Others have registered as 2,334,113 Unaffiliated (no declared party affiliation), 447,710 Independence, 150,703 Conservatives, 44,412 Working Families and 23,099 Green.
Contrast these numbers with registered voters in 2002. That year, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by slightly more than 2 million. There were 5,188,113 registered Democrats versus 3,112,493 Republicans and 2,195,356 Unaffiliated (no declared party affiliation). Over the past ten years, Republicans have lost while Democrats and Unaffiliated registered voters continue to grow.
Democrats currently hold all statewide offices. The last Republican Senator was Alfonse D’Amato. He lost his seat to Democrat Charles Schumer in 1998. The last Republican state comptroller, Ned Regan, won his final term in 1990. The last Republican state attorney general, Dennis Vacco, served only one term winning in 1994. The last Republican to win any statewide office was former Governor George Pataki. His final term began in 2002. Since then, no Republican has been successful in winning any statewide office. Republican Party primary winner Wendy Long will be left on the Republican/Conservative Party alter of sacrificial lambs. Both State Republican Party chairman Ed Cox and Conservative Party chairman Mike Long have a consistent track record running second and third tier candidates for statewide office who are preordained to lose. She will go down in the political history books as another asterisk just like her predecessors Joseph. J. Dio- Guardi (2010), Jay Townsend (2010), John Spencer (2006) and Howard Mills (2004). Former Congressmember Rick Lazio (2000) and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato (1998) were the last two credible Republican/Conservative Party candidates for United States Senator. They both had name recognition and the millions of dollars necessary to run credible campaigns.
Past election results speak volumes. In 2010 Democrat Gillibrand was just appointed by former Governor Paterson to fill the vacated seat of Hillary Clinton who became Secretary of State under President Obama. Gillibrand defeated Joseph J. DioGuardi 2,837,684 to 1,582,693. Likewise in 2010, Schumer defeated Jay Townsend 3,047,880 to 1,480,427.
In 2006, Clinton defeated Republican/ Conservative John Spencer 2,846,428 to 1,392,189.
In 2004, Schumer defeated Republican Howard Mills and Conservative Marilyn G. O’Grady 4,769,734 to 1,625,009 and 220,960.
In 2000, Hillary Clinton moved to Chappaqua Westchester County, New York. This was done to establish legal residency in New York, so she could run for the seat being vacated by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Clinton easily defeated Republican Long Island Congressmember Rick Lazio 3,665,217 to 2,767,760 and Independence Party candidate Jeffrey E. Graham 43,181.
In 1998, then Brooklyn Congressmember Charles Schumer defeated three term incumbent Republican/ Conservative Senator Alfonse D’Amato by 2,5701,065 votes to 1,854,423.
Any winning Republican/Conservative candidate for Senate needs to raise $20 to $30 million and turn out their own political base. Note that out of 2,828,913 registered Republican voters only 5% or 140,000 participated in the primary. Of that number, only 69,168 came to vote for Long while 48,429 voted for Congressmember Bob Turner and 18,307 for Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. Most telling, is that 95 percent or 2,693,001 voted for none of the above by staying home. Long has a difficult hill to climb between now and November convincing 98 percent of fellow Republicans to come out and support her. Long will also need to capture a majority of independent and a significant number of Democrats. Even more challenging, to be taken as a serious candidate, Long needs $1 million per week just for media buys in the Metropolitan New York market. With no significant name recognition, secure Republican voter base or money, Wendy Long is clearly the underdog candidate. Gillibrand has had over two years to build her name recognition and has already raised over $10 million. Long starts out the general election campaign with virtually no cash on hand after her Republican Party primary victory.
Republicans such as Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Governor George Pataki will all write off Long as a lost cause. If Long is lucky, perhaps some may go through the motions with nominal endorsements along with token campaign appearances and fundraisers on behalf of Long. None will make any serious attempts to tap into their own respective campaign contributors pool to raise the millions necessary to help Long run a successful challenge. Independent NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is sure to end up endorsing Gillibrand.
In New York, President Obama is currently out-polling GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney by over 20 points, ditto for Gillibrand over Long. It is obvious that the national GOP campaign committee, Romney’s own Presidential campaign along with various independent political action committees will concede New York to Obama. Romney, just like previous GOP Presidential candidates, will have no boots on the ground in New York. There will be the usual token office with a skeleton staff and no real budget. No funds will be invested for telephone banks to get out the vote, mailings, newspaper, radio, or television media buys to provide any political coattails for Long. Romney will spend little or no time campaigning in a state he has already written off. The Albany GOP State Committee is broke. The Republican State Senate campaign committee is preoccupied with preserving their fragile majority. The national Republican Senate campaign committee along with various independent conservative movements, businesses and other pro Republican political action committees will invest their resources in other races around the nation with more credible candidates.
With Obama and Gillibrand heading the Democratic Party ticket, they will be providing strong coattails for fellow Democrats further down the ballot running for Congress, State Senate and State Assembly. Democrats challenging incumbent Republicans for these offices will benefit. Contrast this with a weak Republican ticket lead by Romney and Long. They will be an albatross around the neck for fellow Republicans running for Congress, State Senate and State Assembly. Republican incumbents will have a steeper hill to climb to win another term. Any hopes of victory for GOP candidates challenging incumbent Democrats are now gone. Republican State Senate majority leader Dean Skelos with a slim two seat majority has the most to lose. His task keeping control of the State Senate has become even more difficult.
While Gillibrand’s mentor, Senator Schumer, will not be on the ballot in 2012, he will play an active role. Schumer wants to keep his younger apprentice in the Senate. He needs her vote when Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid eventually retires. Schumer will be running against Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durban. It would have been easy for Schumer to tap into his own “Pay for Play” special interests crowd to double the $10 million Gillibrand already has in the bank. Schumer has successfully used this tactic in his last two campaigns for reelection outspending his under financed and unknown Republican/ Conservative challengers by a 20 to 1 million margin. With Gillibrand’s reelection all but certain, Schumer is now free to use his well oiled “Pay for Play” political machine to raise millions for assisting Democrats challenging incumbent Republican Congress members, State Senators and State Assembly members.
No wonder successful statewide New York State Republican public officials are on the extinct species list.