Foreboding signs: Hillary could lose to Trump... in New York

Back at the beginning of the year I was going through some of the early (and still rather sketchy) polling which had been done for New York in terms of both the GOP primary and the head to head possibilities for the general election. It’s not that New York is particularly difficult to poll effectively, but more so that nobody bothers for most of the year. For one thing, there’s a lot of area to cover. Also, in terms of the primary, we go so late in the season (April) that the whole shooting match is generally over before it rolls around to the Empire State. And for the general election, well… why bother? New York goes to the Democrats, so any Republican’s vote is just wasted anyway. But what if that wasn’t the case? Trump’s support in his home town is surprisingly deep and he seems to have plenty of appeal in the upstate, more conservative regions as well. That bodes well for him in the primary if things are still in doubt by then because New York offers 95 delegates and 81 of them are bound to the winner of each of the various congressional districts.

When I combined that data with a combination of some bits and pieces local party leaders were looking at I started to wonder… could Trump actually carry New York in the general election? Sure, it sounds crazy. The last time the state voted for a Republican in the White House was Reagan in 84 and it was fairly close. Since then the slug of Democrats in the Big Apple has only grown larger as the upstate population has lagged under high taxes and punishing economic conditions. But now there have been some other folks pondering the question and it might not be so crazy after all. If you try to run one of the senators or Kasich they’ll get wiped out, but in New York, there’s just something about Trump. (New York Post)

Confidential polling data shows Hillary Clinton could lose the presidential election in heavily Democratic New York to Donald Trump as the GOP front-runner’s support grows to the point of being “surprisingly strong,” The Post has learned.

The poll results, from Democratic and Republican legislative races, have surprised many leading Dems, virtually all of whom have endorsed Clinton, while confounding and energizing GOP leaders, many of whom until recently have been opposed to Trump.

“There are some Democrats who think that Hillary can be taken if Trump mounts a strong campaign,’’ one of the state’s most prominent Democrats said.

Some of the folks who have been running the localized polling have had a good look at the results and there are a couple of crazy possibilities that jump out. First of all, in a head to head match up, Trump wouldn’t be a dead lock to win, but it looks like it’s definitely possible and would be very close even if he didn’t. Even in the latter case, it would force Hillary and the DNC to compete in a state they always take for granted, and it’s an incredibly expensive market to campaign in. If the Democrats have to fight for New York, that’s going to suck resources away from other battlegrounds. (An option none of them want to think about.) And if she managed to lose? Well, in a head to head race the election is pretty much over. The Democrats go into each election these days with a built in firewall which gets them well along the road to 271, but if they lose either New York or California, that firewall goes up in flames.

The other, even more alternate universe scenario being looked at is the possibility that Bloomberg still gets into the race if Trump is the nominee. From what the locals are seeing, in a three way race of that structure, Bloomberg draws a heavy number of votes in key portions of New York City… and they would come almost entirely at Hillary Clinton’s expense. By dipping a toe into the pool to “save America from Trump” Michael Bloomberg could actually hand his home state to the Republicans.

Just some food for thought as we count down the hours until Super Tuesday. As is the case with so many stories involving Trump, we may have lived to see interesting times.

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David Strom 10:01 AM on February 04, 2023