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Democrats, Mainstream Media Acknowledge Kathy Hochul Is in Trouble

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

New York races are not generally considered competitive ones, yet with Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) challenging Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY), such a race is indeed looking to turn out that way. Hochul is in trouble, and could very well lose this race. Worse for state Democrats, as CNN admitted last week, is how other races could be affected as well. On Sunday, President Joe Biden traveled to Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, to campaign for Hochul.


As Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote for CNN on Friday, "Mayor Eric Adams might be the fall guy for New York Democrats’ potential big losses next week," due to crime. 

In addition to pointing out that New York Democrats fear they could lose the governor's race and up to four House seats, Dovere discusses how state Democrats are still equating the crime problem with something Republicans refer to it as:

With crime dominating the headlines and the airwaves, multiple Democrats watching these races closely are pointing to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, accusing him of overhyping the issue and playing into right-wing narratives in ways that may have helped set the party up for disaster on Tuesday.

“He was an essential validator in the city to make their attacks seem more legit and less partisan,” said one Democratic operative working on campaigns in New York, who asked not to be named so as not to compromise current clients.

While Dovere's piece doesn't use the term "conspiracy," Hochul herself has. Not only has she done little to address crime, she could hardly be more dismissive and tone-deaf on the issue, even as statistics prove her wrong.

Earlier on Friday, Hochul appeared on "CNN This Morning," during which statistics on the screen from the NYPD showed that while murders in New York City were down 14 percent from October 2021 to October 2022, all other crime categories were up, making for a 31 percent increase crime. A Quinnipiac Poll from last month showing that crime was the top issue was also displayed. 

When asked by Don Lemon "what are Democrats not getting about crime" and "why are Republicans winning on this whole crime issue that has been the thing that has fueled Lee Zeldin's campaign," Hochul claimed it's "because they're being dishonest about it" and "they're not having a conversation about real solutions." As she's also done in the past, including and especially during last month's debate, Hochul's response focused on gun control.

Hochul also appeared on MSNBC later on Friday, where she was confronted on crime by Stephanie Ruhle, though the governor still didn't get it.

Dovere's report also mentioned not just Biden campaigning for Hochul, but that Vice President Kamala Harris did so on Thursday as well. 

On Sunday, Biden claimed Hochul is "someone who takes action" and that "she gets things done." The examples Biden provided applied to supposed successes from his administration, such as on infrastructure and the CHIPS Act. 

When it comes to legislation that Biden signed into law, like those mentioned above and the misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act," the president repeatedly reminded the crowd that Rep. Zeldin and "MAGA Republicans" voted against such bills and proposals of his like student loan debt. The crowd fell in line to boo Republicans each time. 

It wasn't until the end of the speech that Biden addressed crime. When he did bring it up, he framed it as how "Governor Hochul’s opponent talks a good game on crime," which he claimed is "all talk, it’s all talk."

Not only did Biden frame the crime issue in terms of gun control, which he expanded upon to once more call for passing legislation to ban so-called assault weapons, but he also used it as an opportunity to tout the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Zeldin indeed voted against it, as did every Republican, and even a couple of House Democrats. 

While Biden used Zeldin's vote to claim he "voted against keeping cops on the beat and decided to play politics instead," there was no mention of how the ARPA led to the massive inflation being experienced now, something even Democratic economists, like Larry Summers, warned about. 

That Biden would claim Zeldin "voted against keeping cops on the beat" is even more rich considering that earlier on he praised Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), a squad member and vocal proponent of defunding the police.


Biden got really into his schtick at the end, when he brought up fear-mongering claims that "democracy is literally on the ballot," and Zeldin is one of those "election deniers." These supposed "election deniers," according to Biden, are "not only trying to deny your right to vote, they’re trying to deny your right to have your vote counted."

As a way to encourage those present to vote, Biden told them that "if you all show up and vote, democracy is sustained," something he emphasized "is not a joke."

Predictably, the president brought up January 6, as "election deniers" not only referred to those at the Capitol that day as "patriots," and believe that if they don't win, they were cheated. "But let me tell you something," Biden told the audience, "you can’t only love the country when you win." 

Biden should keep that in mind when his party is likely to lose big, potentially even in New York. 

It was also in these remarks that Biden made clear "there is no more drilling," though the White House, as Spencer covered, has tried to spin this, as they do most things the president says. 


Prognosticators have in recent weeks changed their forecasts in the gubernatorial race to favor Zeldin. RealClearPolitics (RCP), which has the race as a "Toss Up," has Hochul with a +7.0 lead, though polls have been somewhat all over the place in this race when it comes to how narrow Hochul's lead is and whether that will match up with reality on Tuesday. 

As Leah covered earlier on Monday, former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY), who was New York's last Republican governor, believes that "clearly the momentum is with Zeldin." Pataki was first elected in 1994, when the country also experienced a red wave.

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