State New York Leaders Give Assessment

President Joe Biden is grappling with an unexpected challenge: a competitive race in traditionally blue New York. Elected officials, union leaders, and political consultants are expressing concerns over declining support for Biden in a state he won decisively by 23 points just four years ago. With polls indicating a steady erosion of his support, there is a growing sense of urgency to allocate resources to New York to strengthen Biden’s campaign and assist Democrats in crucial swing districts that could determine the balance of power in the House.

Despite these warnings, Biden’s team has not focused on New York, allocating no significant resources to a state they anticipate winning with ease. However, the warning signs are becoming harder to ignore. Private surveys conducted in a swing district in New York reveal that former President Donald Trump is leading Biden by a narrow margin, suggesting a much closer race than expected. Public polls over the past four months have also shown Biden’s lead shrinking to just 8 points across New York, a notably small gap in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.

Democratic Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has voiced his concern, stating, “We’re still acting like this is a one-party state, which for pretty much 20, 25 years it has been. I truly believe we’re a battleground state now.” Biden’s campaign, currently struggling after a lackluster debate performance, has yet to pay significant attention to New York beyond high-dollar fundraisers. Recent appearances in traditional battleground states, such as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, have been part of Biden’s effort to address concerns about his age and mental acuity.

Interviews with Democratic Party officials, consultants, and political leaders reveal a sense of urgency for Biden to focus on New York. A contested race in this state would exacerbate his reelection challenges and could divert time and money from other critical swing states. Former Democratic New York Gov. David Paterson emphasized, “The money that needs to be spent here will be subtracted from other areas he’s going to lose.”

Top Democrats in the state, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, have publicly supported Biden. However, Schumer has been cautious in his public comments since the president’s debate performance. As Democratic lawmakers return to the Capitol, there is a push for unity within the party. Schumer has refrained from commenting on whether he agrees with Sen. Patty Murray’s assertion that Biden “must do more” to reassure Democrats and become a more dynamic candidate.

In 2022, Lee Zeldin got closer than most Republicans have in the race for governor in a long time. Many believe he helped down-ballot Republicans in pivotal state races.

What happens is anybody’s guess, not to mention Trump is scheduled for sentencing in September.