OpinionLee Zeldin didn't win, but he sent a message...

Lee Zeldin didn’t win, but he sent a message to Gov. Hochul


Clearly, a win is a win, and Gov. Kathy Hochul deserves New Yorkers’ goodwill as she prepares to start her personal full time period in workplace. However look intently on the New York Metropolis outcomes. GOP candidate Lee Zeldin did astoundingly properly, and that’s with all his MAGA baggage. It’s a lesson for Hochul: She’d greatest heed what reasonable swing voters informed her Tuesday evening on crime management and job progress.

With 97% of the vote in, Zeldin did what few folks thought was potential a couple of months in the past and got here fairly near doing what a Republican state candidate must do to win statewide — profitable 35% of the native vote.

Zeldin took 30% of the Gotham vote — 514,175 votes, to be precise, in contrast with Hochul’s 70% (1,180,993 votes).

Nobody would argue that Hochul didn’t landslide New York Metropolis, as per typical in a metropolis with a 7-to-1 ratio of registered Democrats vs. Republicans.

However Zeldin’s 30% vote share was twice that of the Republican candidate’s share 4 years in the past. In 2018, GOP candidate Marc Molinaro acquired simply 15% of town’s vote, 318,000 ballots.

This election, Zeldin beat his predecessor candidate’s whole vote depend by 62%. And in a lower-turnout race, Zeldin doubled the share of the vote.

Kathy Hochul celebrates her victory over Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin in the New York State gubernatorial race on Tuesday, November 8.
Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrates her victory over Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin within the New York gubernatorial race on Tuesday, November 8.
James Keivom

The place? Effectively, in every single place. On Staten Island, town’s most conservative borough, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo eked out a tiny victory 4 years in the past, 49% to 48%. This time round, Zeldin gained by a double-digit margin, 67% to 33%.

Which may be anticipated, with Staten Island voters not as delay by President Donald Trump and his antics as the remainder of town is.

However in Brooklyn 4 years in the past, Cuomo gained 81% to 13% (third events gained the remainder). This yr, Zeldin earned a full 29% of the vote, to Hochul’s 71%.

In Queens in 2018, Cuomo gained 78% to 18%. This yr, Zeldin garnered a full third of the vote, to Hochul’s two-thirds.

Supporters for Lee Zeldin.
Supporters collect throughout an election evening occasion for GOP gubernatorial hopeful Lee Zeldin.
Matthew McDermott

Even within the Bronx and Manhattan, Zeldin did comparatively properly. 4 years in the past, Molinaro earned simply 8% and 10% of these respective boroughs’ votes. This yr, Zeldin gained 22% and 18%, respectively.

It’s price repeating: For a Republican to win almost 1 / 4 of the Bronx vote is an enormous deal. It’s not a large enough deal, after all. That and $6 will get Zeldin a latte this morning.

However Zeldin proved one thing essential: New York Metropolis is what makes New York a one-party state, however even the Democratic metropolis has its limits.

A supporter holds up a sign reading, "Zeldin for governor."
A member of the group holds up an indication supporting Zeldin for governor.
Matthew McDermott

Confronted with far larger post-pandemic crime charges and a sluggish jobs restoration — Gotham remains to be lacking 2% of its pre-pandemic jobs, whereas the nation as an entire has recovered — some New York Metropolis Democrats will present their frustration on the voting sales space.

Some metropolis individuals who hate Trump and are indignant on the Supreme Courtroom’s abortion and gun management selections stuffed within the Republican bubble on their ballots anyway.

Truly, fairly lots of people did.

Statewide, too, the Legislature appears to be like to have misplaced a pair Democratic members due to its strikes, in recent times, towards the far left. Hochul should heed this signal, as she faces super stress from the left to double down on cashless bail and tax hikes.

Progressives will argue that she owes them: The left-wing Working Households Social gathering accounted for 11% of her vote this yr, in contrast with simply 4% of Cuomo’s in 2018. However Hochul wouldn’t have wanted the far left had she stored the middle.

Congressman Lee Zeldin, his running mate Alison Esposito and their families came to the stage and thanked their supporters.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, his working mate Alison Esposito and their households thank their supporters throughout election evening.
Paul Martinka

Statewide, Hochul’s margin of victory over Zeldin was 53% to 47%. Had Zeldin gained one other 5% of town vote, he would have reduce Hochul’s victory to 51%, far too shut for consolation.

And presumably, such a GOP margin in New York Metropolis would bode poorly for the Democratic candidate in the remainder of the state, too. This yr, Zeldin simply gained Lengthy Island, a area Cuomo gained 4 years in the past.

So Zeldin despatched Hochul a historic, and invaluable, message Tuesday evening: Don’t take New York Metropolis Democrats without any consideration. With out clear progress on crime and the economic system over the following 4 years, and with (let’s hope) the reminiscence of Trump fading, New York stays in play, for the primary time in additional than a technology.

Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s Metropolis Journal.


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