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What Trump means for the NY down-ballot races

Publication: 
Newsday
Aug
15
2016

Hillary Clinton’s strong lead in the Siena College poll of New York voters released Monday has many down-ballot Republicans worried that their voters will stay home in November. She’s leading Donald Trump among registered voters 57 percent to 27 percent — the biggest Empire State gap since the two emerged as their parties’ leaders.

What’s more, Trump is significantly down among GOP respondents, with just 52 percent supporting him. That’s causing more than the usual presidential election year concerns that the State Senate GOP can hold onto its majority coalition.

One shaky Republican seat is the open race in 7th SD, which is being vacated by Sen. Jack Martins. Democrat Adam Haber, an East Hills businessman and Roslyn school-board member, is running against Republican Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips.

Veteran Carl Marcellino also has a tough race on his hands in the 5th SD against Democratic challenger Jim Gaughran, the Suffolk County Water Authority chairman and former Suffolk legislator. Gaughran is raising money and campaigning fiercely.

And Kemp Hannon, whose Democratic opponent Ryan Cronin garnered 48 percent of the vote in 2012 with little party support, is also at risk of losing in November. NYS Democrats have vowed to fully fund Cronin in this 6th SD rematch.

Being a freshman is always a concern, but Republican Tom Croci is likely to hold onto his 3rd SD seat. The other GOP rookie, however, may have a little more to worry about. Michael Venditto, who holds the seat in the 8th SD and is running against Democrat John Brooks, could find his father’s name recognition hurts more than it helps this year. Oyster Bay financial woes are plaguing John Venditto, the longtime town supervisor, and passing over that name could be a way for those in the town to express their frustration.

Anne Michaud