New York’s gubernatorial race is often dismissed, given how Democrats dominate the state’s political system. No state’s more of a blue hell hole than New York. Okay, maybe New Jersey is worse, but you can accurately describe the entire Tri-State area as the mecca for liberal America’s bad ideas. New York City is the country's economic capital, saving it from being worse than Annandale, Virginia. What else explains the allure of major corporations to have their headquarters or significant warehouses in New Jersey, where enterprise goes to die? Yet, 2022 could have been a significant political event in the Empire State, where a Republican could have occupied the governor’s mansion. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) came the closest of any candidate in recent memory, and you already know how he was able to close the gap.
It was rising crime—an issue that supposedly was a top concern among voters, though one that heinously underperformed with voters at the polls, except in New York. That’s how Mr. Zeldin, described by the liberal magazine Mother Jones as uncharismatic, was able to compete against incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was inept, uncharismatic, and way out of her depth as an executive. That aspect hasn’t changed. Zeldin turned out to be the better stripe of Republican to run for statewide office than most, and Hochul had a slew of self-inflicted wounds that closed the gap, at least in some surveys. She did enjoy a 24-point lead over Zeldin, which was eroded mightily when Election Day arrived. While she beat Zeldin 53-46—there is no doubt that crime played a role, especially with some demographics that aren’t typical supporters of Republicans.
The issue of cash bail and bail reform was the crux of the piece, where New York tried to emulate what New Jersey did, tweak the law, which earned massive bipartisan support, but also allow judges to employ a “dangerousness” metric for those who present an inordinate danger to public safety. New York tried, but even left-wingers weren’t too pleased by the process—the first stab at bail reform was passed in the early morning hours. Then-Mayor Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo, who are as liberal as they come, said that revisions must be made. The case that spurred New York’s political community to action to change the law was the detention of Kalief Browder in 2010. The then-16-year-old was accused of stealing a backpack and couldn’t afford the $3,000 bail, which earned him a three-year stint at Rikers as he awaited trial. He remained in solitary confinement for most of this period, though adamant about his innocence. Eventually, the case against him dropped, but he committed suicide in 2015.
Regardless, there was no political fallout from the Big Apple’s problem concerning keeping violent thugs off the streets, generating a slew of headlines highlighting the problem, which Mother Jones obviously dismissed. With zero fallout, nothing much was done; by 2022, the issue would come to a head. The 2021 off-year elections saw that blowback as GOP voters overperformed and clinched a string of local races. In 2022, while the GOP didn’t win the gubernatorial race, they were able to knock off key incumbent Democrats, securing a slim House majority. New York Democrats don’t beat around the bush: the 2022 elections were disastrous.
One of the more disturbing portions of the piece described Zeldin’s potential assassination attempt at a campaign rally as a lucky break—an unseemly description of an act of political terrorism. Though Zeldin was indeed laser-focused on rising crime and public safety, rarely mentioned Trump, and made close to zero gaffes on the trail.
Yet, the part that the lengthy piece glossed over, which The New York Times had a better deep dive into, was the exodus of Asian support for Democrats in 2022. The Asian population of New York City, no matter what the affiliation, was worried about crime and voted in droves for the party that campaigned on enhancing public safety. That was Mr. Zeldin and the Republicans. There’s another layer to this political onion: Asian-American voters feel Democrats marginalize them, ignore their concerns, and actively work with black and Latino communities against them. There might be some truth, but if you want to know why Zeldin had some of the margins he had in the city, Asians got him there. It’s a fledgling voter bloc that could be the blindside block Democrats miss in future elections.
The Left has already opted to function without a spine regarding removing and eschewing the needs and concerns of the nation’s white working class, which has long served as the backbone of the Democratic Party. It’s a voter bloc that’s tens of millions strong that Barack Obama was able to compete with for two consecutive elections. Democrats don’t want them, though there’s screwed on the other end as nonwhite working-class voters are drifting into the GOP camp since the Left can’t craft an economic agenda that doesn’t just benefit urban dwellers, tech entrepreneurs and wealthy white college kids. Talk about focusing on the minute of minoritarianism.
And like New York’s state legislature elections that past couple of cycles, the overall 2022 midterms weren’t much of a blowback for Democrats, despite them creating an economic recession and high inflation, which is hammering families. It’s bound to get worse as the spring thaw arrives, but voters also opted for stability, in which they saw Democrats, for all their faults, as the party better positioned to avoid Congress devolving into mayhem under a rambunctious Trump-influenced GOP mega-majority. So, there won’t be much outreach to Asian American communities, or any policy revisits on issues like crime, economic growth, and the party’s overall condescending persona. For now, the blowback that could come is self-inflicted, as Joe Biden was busted for keeping classified materials, some of which were marked ‘top secret’ in multiple unsecured locations. The reason behind Biden’s reckless moves has yet to be explained to the public's satisfaction or members of his party.