The damnedest thing is happening in the Empire State. Election Day is Tuesday, and Democrats aren’t smiling.
For the first time in almost 30 years, all the momentum is on the Republican side in New York, and that’s not normal.
What in God’s name is going on?
Former President Donald Trump was twice trounced by more than 20 points in indigo New York. Republicans lost the state senate majority along with him. Eulogies for the GOP were written. Words were spoken over the grave. And now this. (RELATED: BOLDUC: The Momentum Is On My Campaign’s Side And Our Democrat Opponent Is Feeling The Heat)
Liberalism is what happened — Liberalism and Lee Zeldin, the tenacious gubernatorial candidate with the chutzpah to campaign in 7-1 Democrat New York City. Asinine progressive policies, like no-cash-bail, opened the door; Zeldin came crashing through.
Zeldin was supposed to be a non-starter. He was too closely tied to Trump, many said. I said it, too. We were wrong.
Turns out that New Yorkers are worried about today, not yesterday. And they’re especially worried about the future. A million and a half New Yorkers moved out of the most heavily taxed state in the union in the past 20 years, and the 20 million left behind are thinking about it. Liberalism has run its course again in New York, and the results are what they’ve always been: disastrous.
On Thursday a morning jogger in New York City was raped, beaten, and robbed in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park. The man suspected in the attack has been arrested 25 times, and is being looked at in two other sex assault cases. Stories like this are reported every single day in New York. People have had it.
We’ve been here before. Liberalism brought New York to its knees in the 1970s and 80s, before Republicans George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg were allowed in to save the day.
Democrats and independents — clothespins on noses — saw what progressive policies were doing to their state and pulled the GOP lever, many for the first time. Good things happened. They got used to them — took them for granted — and in time began electing liberal Democrats again. Cycle, rinse, repeat.
No one can say for sure, but it feels like New Yorkers are ready to toss aside liberalism again on Tuesday. It’s an extraordinary turn of events in a one-party-rule state where Democrats have a greater than two-to-one registration advantage.
Zeldin’s best move has been fighting for the hearts and minds of voters in the five boroughs. The rule of thumb is that Republicans need to win at least 30% of New York City voters in order to win statewide, and in at least one survey, Zeldin is well beyond that. Given the daily horrors played out on the covers of city tabloids every morning, it’s no surprise.
Many of the voters planning to vote for Zeldin, if polls are accurate, are black, Asian and Latino constituencies who always pay the highest price in crime waves. Eastern Europeans and voters from Central and South America who have lived under socialism are expected to break for the GOP, too. They know where progressivism and single-party rule end up.
It’s been a strange campaign season. Something is definitely in the air. Zeldin, running on an anti-crime platform, has personally been affected by crime twice while running, once when he was attacked on stage by a man wielding a weapon and, recently, when gunfire erupted outside his house while his twin teenage daughters were home. Maybe there really are no coincidences.
A blood moon — a lunar eclipse — will be rising in the sky over New York on Election Night. It should be illuminating.
William F. B. O’Reilly is a Republican strategist from New York.
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