MetroFocus: November 7, 2022

2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS SPECIAL:  COMPETITIVE RACES TURN NEW YORK INTO A SURPRISING BATTLEGROUND STATE

Tonight, it’s down to the wire with just hours to go until Election Day, and MetroFocus will bring you the latest on the key political races in the region.  There is the New York governor’s race that some polls show has significantly tightened, and there are several competitive congressional seats that could tilt the balance of power in Washington.  In addition, on Long Island nine state Senate seats are in play.  Joining us to break it all down are:  Robbie Sequeria, senior reporter for Bronx Times; Alyssa Katz, Deputy Editor of  The City, the nonprofit news website covering New York; and Yancey Roy, Newsday’s Albany bureau chief.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, YOUR ELECTION DAY GUIDE TO THE HIGH-STAKES 2022 MIDTERMS.

WILL A RED WAVE SWEEP NEW YORK AND THE NATION?

AND GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL OUT OF OFFICE?

FROM INFLATION AND CRIME TO PROTECTING DEMOCRACY.

THE KEY ISSUES THAT COULD DECIDE WHO WINS OUT THIS ELECTION SEASON.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

ELECTION DAY IS ALMOST UPON US.

TUESDAY MORNING VOTERS WILL HEAD TO THE POLLS TO CAST VOTES FOR CITY, AND STATE, AND COUNTRY.

TOP OF THE LINE ARE THE ISSUES OF INFLATION, CRIME, AND PROTECTING DEMOCRACY.

THERE'S A GOVERNOR'S RACE THAT APPEARS TO HAVE TIGHTENED SIGNIFICANTLY WITH LONG ISLAND REPUBLICAN LEE ZELDIN CLOSING THE GAP WITH KATHY HOCHUL.

THERE ARE A SLEW OF BATTLEGROUND CONGRESSIONAL RACES THAT COULD TILT THE BALANCE OF POWER IN WASHINGTON ONE WAY OR THE OTHER AS WELL AS A NUMBER OF COMPETITIVE STATEWIDE CONTESTS THAT WILL DETERMINE THE FUTURE OF HOW NEW YORK IS GOVERNED FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.

SO, HERE WITH A PREVIEW OF WHAT TO EXPECT AS YOU GET READY TO CAST YOUR VOTE TOMORROW IN THIS ELECTION ARE A PANEL OF REPORTERS.

ALYSSA KATZ IS THE DEPUTY EDITOR FOR THE CITY, THE NONPROFIT NEWS ORGANIZATION COVERING NEW YORK.

ROBBIE SEQUERIA IS A SENIOR REPORTER FOR 'BRONX TIMES.'

AND YANCEY ROY IS IS THE ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF.

THANK YOU FOR JOININGLESS LET'S START WITH THE GOVERNOR'S RACE.

IF THE POLLS ARE ACCURATE, THAT'S A BIG IF FOR REASONS WE ALL KNOW, BUT IF ACCURATE IT SUGGESTS A TIGHTENING RACE, TIGHTER THAN MANY EXPECTS.

LET ME ASK YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THAT.

WHAT ARE YOU SEEING IN TERMS OF WHAT THAT RACE LOOK LIKE TODAY?

YEAH, SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK WHEN THIS GOVERNOR'S RACE STARTED, YOU KNOW, INCUMBENT KATHY HOCHUL HAD A LEAD OVER LEE ZELDIN, AND WHAT WE'VE REALLY SEEN OVER REALLY THE LAST MONTH AND REALLY ACCELERATING IS THIS KIND OF SURGE OF ENTHUSIASM FOR ZELDIN.

AND I THINK THERE ARE A COUPLE OF FACTORS IN PLAY.

ONE IS THAT THE ZELDIN CAMPAIGN AND ZELDIN VOTERS HAVE THESE VERY SPECIFIC ANIMATING ISSUES THAT ARE VERY CLEAR.

THEY REALLY WANT TO SEE CHANGE ON THOSE ISSUES, AND THEY -- IT'S REALLY MOTIVATING PEOPLE TO SAY THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GO OUT AND VOTE FOR ZELDIN, THE CHIEF AMONG THEM BEING CRIME AND PUBLIC SAFETY.

ZELDIN CENTER HIS CAMPAIGN AROUND CRIME AND PERCEPTIONS, AND REALITY AS WELL, BUT FUELED BY A NARRATIVE OF NEW YORK BECOMING MUCH MORE DANGEROUS AND NOT JUST IN A SMALL BLIP, BUT SOME KIND OF PERVASIVE WAY.

ZELDIN IS REALLY USING THAT VERY EFFECTIVELY TO MARTIAL SUPPORT.

SO AT THE SAME TIME YOU HAVE HOCHUL REALLY STRUGGLING A BIT MORE TO HAVE A MESSAGE THAT WILL REALLY MOTIVATE VOTERS.

LIKE THE REST OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, SHE'S CENTERED ON ABORTION RIGHTS AND GUN CONTROL, BOTH OF WHICH OF COURSE ARE UNDER THREAT BY THE SUPREME COURT AND ALSO BY THE POSSIBILITY OF TOTAL REPUBLICAN CONTROL OF CONGRESS THAT MAY BE LOOMING.

BUT THERE'S REALLY -- I THINK THE PROBLEM FOR HOCHUL IS THERE'S REALLY NOT MUCH MORE THAT CAN BE DONE WITHIN NEW YORK, AND THERE'S REALLY NOT MUCH MORE GROUND THAT CAN BE LOST THAT WOULD BE JUST, YOU KNOW, FOR NEW YORK.

IN OTHER WORDS, IF ZELDIN WINS, WE ARE UNLIKELY TO SEE A GUN RIGHTS REGIME THAT'S ANY WORSE THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW DUE TO THE SUPREME COURT, AND SIMILARLY ABORTION RIGHTS ARE PRETTY STRONGLY PROTECT IN THE NEW YORK IF THEY ARE PROTECTED ANYWHERE, SO IT'S MUCH HARDER TO GET PEOPLE TO THE POLLS ON THESE ISSUES.

AND ZELDIN BENEFITTED FROM AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF OUTSIDE SPENDING, MUCH OF IT FUNDED BY RAN LAUDER, THE SORT OF THE CENTRIST TO RIGHT ACTIVIST SOME ALL OF THAT IS REALLY MAKING THINGS MUCH HARDER FOR HOCHUL.

YANCEY AND ROBBIE, LET ME GET YOU BOTH TO WEIGH IN.

ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THIS SHRINKING LEAD GOVERNOR HOCHUL HAD?

THIS IS A COUPLE OF THINGS.

BEFORE LABOR DAY ONE OF THE POLLS THAT KIM OUT, SIENNA COLLEGE POLL SAID IT WAS 14 POINTS.

RIGHT AROUND LABOR DAY KATHY HOCHUL'S CAMPAIGN CAME OUT WITH AN AD THAT HIT ZELDIN ON TWO POINTS THAT WOULD CARRY WEIGHT WITH NEW YORKERS.

ONE IS HIS ANTI-ABORTION STANCE AND THE OTHER HIS VOTE ON JANUARY 6th 2021 AGAINST CERTIFYING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AMID THE RIOT THAT WAS GOING ON AT THE CAPITOL.

I THINK THAT AD WAS EFFECTIVE, BECAUSE THE NEXT POLL YOU SAW BUMPED IT UP TO 17, AND THERE WERE SOME HOCHUL GAINS IN SUBURBIA.

BUT FROM THAT POINT ON, JUST AFTER LABOR DAY TO COLUMBUS DAY, IT JUST, YOU KNOW, SEEMED -- AND AT THE TIME AND ESPECIALLY NOW, THAT, I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE THEY TOOK THEIR FOOT OFF THE GAS, IF YOU WILL, BECAUSE THERE WAS A LULL AND IT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE THERE WAS A LOT OF ACTIVITY DURING THAT THREE-WEEK PERIOD, THREE TO FOUR-WEEK PERIOD.

THERE WAS NOT A LOT OF NEW MESSAGES COMING OUT, AND AT THE TIME HOCHUL WAS DOING A ROSE GARDEN STRATEGY, WHICH IS YOU'RE THE INCUMBENT.

YOU DO BILL SIGNINGS AND OTHER THINGS BUT YOU DON'T CAMPAIGN.

I THINK THERE WAS A WINDOW WHERE YOU GO FROM LABOR DAY TO COLUMBUS DAY, AND THERE WAS A NATURAL TIGHTENING OF THINGS, I THINK IN PART BECAUSE HOCHUL IS NOT AS WELL KNOWN AS A CUOMO.

SHE WAS NEVER WELL KNOWN, AND HER NAME IS NOT THAT OUT THERE.

SO THERE WAS GOING TO BE TIGHTENING, COMBINED WITH THAT, AND AS ALYSSA SAID, OUTSIDE SPENDING ADDS UP TO WHERE WE ARE NOW, WHICH IS A VERY, VERY CLOSE RACE.

ROBBIE, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

IT'S INTERESTING.

I THINK ALYSSA AND YANCEY HIT IT ON THE HEAD.

IN TERMS OF HOW THAT COMES TO LOCAL RACES, KIND OF COMFORTABILITY WITH THE SELECTION OF THE PARTY, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

IT HAS A HUGE ADVANTAGE IN THE BRONX BUCK RECENTLY THERE'S BEEN ISSUES WITH THEIR PICKS, SO I THINK THAT'S TRANSLATED TO THE GOVERNOR'S RACE.

DO I WANT TO VOTE FOR ZELDIN?

MAYBE NOT, BUT THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT THINK THAT HOCHUL INSPIRES THEM, SO THEY MAY GO WITH SOMEONE WHO'S TALK WHICH IS CRIME.

ZELDIN'S TAKEN STOPS AT THE BRONX AT PLACES WHERE THERE'S BEEN MAYBE A STABBING HAPPENED HERE OR MAYBE THERE WAS A THEFT HERE, WHICH I THINK RESONATE WITH THE COMMUNITY.

RESONATES WITH PAYING ATTENTION TO THE COMMUNITY.

I THINK IN SOME WAYS, THE BRONX, THERE IS A HUGE ADVANTAGE, BUT THERE ARE ISSUES THAT ZELDIN HAS BEEN ABLE TO TAP INTO, SUCH AS CRIME, THAT AFFECTS THEM ON A PERSONAL AND LOCAL LEVEL.

WHY DO WE THINK THAT IS?

ROBBIE, YOU MENTIONED THE PERSONAL, THE LOCAL, THE IMPACTFUL ISSUES.

AND ALYSSA, AS YOU MENTIONED THE, REALITY IS, IF THERE IS A NEW GOVERNOR, IF LEE ZELDIN WINS, HE'S NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO CHANGE IMMEDIATELY ISSUES SUCH AS ABORTION RIGHTS IN NEW YORK.

AND SOME OF THE OTHER ISSUES.

THE GOVERNOR JUST DOESN'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO THAT, TO WALK IN THE OFFICE AND SAY -- NO GOVERNOR CAN WALK INTO THE OFFICE AND SAY, TOMORROW I'M DOING AWAY WITH OUR BAIL SCENARIO THAT I DON'T LIKE.

THEY CAN'T DO THAT.

SO MY QUESTION TO ALL THREE OF YOU IS, DO GOVERNOR HOCHUL AND HER ADVISERS DON'T REALIZE THAT?

OR WHY ARE YOU NOT HEARING THEM POUNDING THE TABLE ON ISSUES SUCH AS CRIME?

THERE ARE MAYBE FOUR STABBINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THE SUBWAY JUST THIS PAST WEEKEND ALONE.

CRIME AND THE ECONOMY, ALL THE -- WHY DO THEY SEEM TO BE --

SHE HAS BEEN TALK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR VOTERS TO FEEL SAFE, TAKING MEASURES TO ENSURE THAT HAPPENS.

YOU'VE SEEN IN CONJUNCTION WITH MAYOR ERIC ADAMS AN INCREASE IN POLICE PRESENCE IN THE SUBWAYS, WHICH THE MTA WORKS WITH THE POLICE ON.

THERE ARE MEASURES SHE HAS TAKEN.

THE REAL CHALLENGE FOR HOCHUL IS WHILE IT'S TRUE THAT A GOVERNOR CAN'T COME IN AND ORDER CHANGES, FIRST OF ALL, YOU HAVE ZELDIN SAYING HE'LL FIRE MANHATTAN D.A.

ALVIN BRAGG AFTER HE GETS INTO OFFICE BECAUSE THE GOVERNOR DOES HAVE THE POWER TO REMOVE D.A.s FOR A CAUSE, AND HE'S SAYING THAT BRAGG HAS NOT ENFORCED THE LAW.

I THINK SINGING BRAGG OUT IS UNFAIR AND UNJUST, BUT THAT'S ANOTHER DISCUSSION.

FURTHERMORE, YOU HAVE HOCHUL WHO DID REVISIT THE BAIL LAWS TO MAKE RELATIVELY MINOR CHANGES.

BASICALLY IT'S A MATTER OF CLASSIFYING CERTAIN OFFENSES AS BAIL ELIGIBLE OR NOT AND SOME OTHER KIND OF MARINAL TWEAKS.

THEY DON'T ALTER THE ISSUE THAT JUDGES HAVE TO RELEASE PEOPLE.

THERE IS NO -- STANDARD IN NEW YORK UNLIKE IN PRETTY MUCH EVERY OTHER STATE.

SO HOCHUL DID THAT.

SHE OWNS THAT.

SHE DIDN'T CHANGE COURSE, AND SHE'S A WIDE-OPEN TARGET FOR ZELDIN BECAUSE OF THAT.

YANCEY AND ROBBIE, LET ME EXPAND THE QUESTION TO BASICALLY NATIONWIDE.

MESSAGING COMING FROM DEMOCRATS AS OPPOSED TO MESSAGING COMING FROM REPUBLICANS.

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THAT?

ROBBIE, YOU JUMP IN FIRST, AND THEN YANCEY AFTER.

I THINK THAT IT'S -- OBVIOUSLY IT'S KIND OF THIS THING ABOUT, OH, YOU KNOW, IF YOU LIVE IN THESE BIG CITIES, THESE STATES CONTROLLED BY WHOMEVER, BUT ON THIS SIDE IT'S BEEN REPUBLICANS THAT KIND OF CONTROLLED THE CITIES -- OH, CRIME IS GOING TO RISE UP.

I THINK IT'S KIND OF SIMPLISTIC IN THAT ISSUE IN TERM OF LOOKING AT CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND HOW CRIMINALITY HAPPENS.

I THINK YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT SYSTEMIC ISSUES.

LIKE, THE BRONX FOR EXAMPLE IS DISINVESTED IN, RIGHT?

SO THERE'S CRIME THAT'S HAPPENING.

YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT OTHER PLACES LIKE HOUSING.

SO MAYBE AN ISSUE WHERE I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE AND CANDIDATES COULD MAKE GROUND WITH HOUSING AND HOW YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE THINGS MORE AFFORDABLE.

TACKLING THE FOOSHLT CRISIS THAT GOES INTO INFLATION, LACK OF RESOURCES.

I THINK THE MESSAGING HAS BEEN CRIME.

OR IF YOU WANT THIS PERSON, THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHTS.

I THINK THERE ARE VOTERS REALIZING NO MATTER WHO THEY VOTE FOR THEY'RE DEALING WITH ISSUES THAT I MEAN PACT THEM.

ARE THERE ISSUES ONE WAY OR THE OTHER THAT COULD GALVANIZE THEM TO THE POLLS AND MAKE THEM EXCITED TO VOTE ABOUT?

YANCEY?

I WANT TO GO BACK TO A GOVERNOR'S POWERS OVER A STATE LEGISLATURE, BECAUSE THEY ARE GREATER THAN PROBABLY A LOT OF FOLKS UNDERSTAND.

I ALWAYS LIKEN IT TO, YOU KNOW, IF THERE'S A -- IF YOU LOOK AT POWERS LIKE A DECK OF CARDS, THE GOVERNOR HAS ABOUT 50 CARDS AND THE SENATE HAS ONE AND THE ASSEMBLY HAS ONE.

AND WHAT HAPPENS IS THE STATE BUDGET IS DUE AROUND APRIL 1st.

I'M TRYING TO SIMPLIFY THIS, BUT COURSE CASES, A GOVERNOR CAN SAY, I INSERT THIS POLICY INTO THE BUDGET, AND THAT COULD BE -- AND I'M NOT GOING SIGN OFF UNTIL YOU GUYS SIGN OFF ON IT.

AND EVERY LEGISLATURE WANT ITS MONEY FOR SCHOOLS.

AND ITS MONEY FOR THE LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THE LOCAL TOWN BOARDS AND SO THAT'S ALWAYS THEIR MAIN PRIORITY.

AND A GOVERNOR -- CUOMO DID THIS EFFECTIVELY, KATHY HOCHUL DID THIS SOMEWHAT EFFECTIVELY HER FIRST TIME AROUND -- COULD SAY, I'M NOT SIGNING OFF ON TO A BUDGET UNTIL YOU -- TAKE LEE ZELDIN.

HE COULD SAY, I'M NOT SIGNING OFF ON A BUDGET UNLESS YOU COMPLETELY INCLUDE AN OVERHAUL OF BAIL.

WOULD THE LEGISLATURE GO FOR THAT?

I DON'T KNOW.

BUT HE COULD TRY THAT GAMBIT.

HE COULD SAY, I'M NOT GOING SIGN OFF ON THE BUDGET UNLESS WE COMPLETELY REPEAL THE LAW ON CONCEALED CARRY WEAPONS.

AND YOU HAVE A STANDOFF SCENARIO WHERE YOU SHUTDOWN GOVERNMENT.

NO MONEY FLOWS.

EVERYTHING STOPS LIKE WE'VE SEEN IN WASHINGTON.

AND THERE'S THIS STANDOFF.

I THINK THERE'S A POINT TO BE MADE THERE THAT SOME OF THESE BEYOND A PROBABLE DOUBTS THAT SOMEONE COULDN'T -- AN OREGONER CAN'T UNILATERALLY CHANGE A LAW, THAT'S TRUE.

BUT THERE'S A LOT OF INFLUENCE A GOVERNOR CAN USE THROUGH THE BUDGET PROCESS WOMEN SAW CUOMO DO IT REPEATEDLY, KATHY HOCHUL, TO GET THOSE CHANGES IN HER FIRST BUDGET ABOUT BAIL, SHE USES THE BUDGET LEVERAGE TO GET IT.

SHE ALSO USED THAT BUDGET LEVERAGE TO GET A DEAL FOR THE BUFFALO BILLS STADIUM AND THE TAXPAYER INCENTIVE THAT WENT TO THAT.

THAT WAS A STAND ALONE BILL IN THE LEGISLATURE THAT MIGHT NOT HAVE GONE THROUGH, BUT BECAUSE SHE TIE IT IN WITH THE BUDGET, ALL OF A SUDDEN THE GOVERNOR'S IN CONTROL.

THERE ARE SOME WAYS TO GET IT DONE.

LET ME JUMP TO -- I GOT A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS I WANT TO GET TO.

GOING TO TALK ABOUT CONGRESSIONAL RACES IN A MOMENT, BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT VOTER ENTHUSIASM THAT LENDS I THINK TO VOTER TURNOUT.

ALYSSA, YOUR SENSE A WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN TERM OS VOTER ENTHUSIASM IN THE AREA?

SOME RECENT POLLING REALLY SUGGESTED THERE REALLY IS A GAP BETWEEN ENTHUSIASM BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT PARTIES, SPEAKING TO WHY ZELDIN HAS BEEN OUTPERFORMING EXPECTATIONS IN THE POLLS.

WHAT YOU SEE IS ESSENTIALLY WHEN PEOPLE IDENTIFY AS LIKELY VOTERS, THE DEMOCRATS ARE LESS LIKELY -- AND REPUBLICANS ARE MORE LIKELY DISPROPORTIONATELY TO SAY, YEAH, I AM GOING TO VOTE.

I THINK THOSE ARE SOME OF THE SIGNS HERE, AND I THINK ONE OTHER FACTOR -- IT'S A WAY FOR ME TO BACK INTO -- AND ADDRESS SOMETHING THAT YANCEY JUST SAID, AND TALKING ABOUT ENTHUSIASM.

IS ONE WILD CARD HERE IS WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE STATE SENATE WILL LOOK LIKE.

THE STATE SENATE, THE DEMOCRATS COULD LOSE THEIR SUPERMAJORITY.

WHY?

BECAUSE YOU HAVE DISTRICTS FOR INSTANCE IN LONG ISLAND WHERE, YOU KNOW, ZELDIN IS FROM, BUT WHERE ALSO YOU HAVE A LOT OF CONCERNS ABOUT CRIME AND SORT OF LEFTWARD DIRECTION OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE ARE REALLY VERY EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN TOOLS FOR REPUBLICANS WHO ARE RUNNING NOW.

AND SO THERE'S A STRONG LIKELIHOOD THAT YOU HAVE PEOPLE TURNING OUT IF STRONG NUMBERS TO, YOU KNOW, THROW OUT INCUMBENTS ON LONG ISLAND AND DEMOCRATS LOSE THEIR SUPERMAJORITY, MAKING IT, I THINK, EASIER FOR ZELDIN IF HE IS ELECTED TO GET AN AGENDA PASSED.

ROBBIE, WHAT ARE YOU SEEING IN TERMS OF VOTER ENTHUSIASM THAT, AS WE KNOW, LEADS TO TURNOUT NUMBERS?

I THINK IT'S HARD TO CAPTURE THE MOMENT THAT PEOPLE DECIDE TO GO VOTE.

I REMEMBER SEEING THIS IN THE CAUCUSES.

YOU GO, THIS IS GOING TO BE HOW IT SHAKES OUT.

AND THEN YOU SEE A BUNCH OF PEOPLE SHOW UP BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE TIME OFF OR SCHEDULE AROUND THE DAY.

OR IT'S NICE WEATHER.

NICE WEATHER.

SOMEONE'S TEXTING ME GO, HEY, VOTE.

IT'S HARD TO MEASURE THAT IN NEW YORK CITY.

IT'S HARD TO MEASURE WHEN A BUNCH OF PEOPLE DECIDE TO DO IT.

I THINK IN THE BRONX YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A LOT OF ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE, AT LEAST IN THE BRONX, COMPLETELY DEMOCRAT STATE, IT'S BEEN VOTE FOR HOCHUL, WHETHER YOU'RE PROGRESSIVE OR WHETHER YOU'RE MODERATE, IT'S BEEN VOTE FOR HOCHUL, SO I THINK THEY'RE TRYING TO CAP INTO THAT, AS MUCH PEOPLE AS YOU CAN GET ON THE STREETS.

YOU SEE IN THE PRIMARIES, YOUR CONGRESSMAN IS LIKE, HEY, GO AND VOTE.

IT'S HARD TO CAPTURE THAT MOMENT AND FEEL FOR IT.

I WOULD SAY THE DEMOCRATS BETTER HOPE THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS.

BECAUSE I THINK THAT -- I THINK MALAISE, PARTICULARLY -- EVEN IF YOU HAVE AN ADVANTAGE, MALAISE IS A VERY BAD THING TO HAPPEN, AS I THINK ANY INCUMBENT, YOU WANT PEOPLE TO BE ACTIVELY SUPPORTING YOU RATHER THAN LOOKING AT YOU AS THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.

CURIOUS TO SEE IN THE BRONX IF PEOPLE ARE CONNECTING WITH THE GOVERNOR OR CONNECTING WITH WHAT'S BEING PROPOSED TO THEM.

YANCEY, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A BIGGER STATE PICTURE.

IT'S NOT UNUSUAL TO HEAR PEOPLE OFFER OPINIONS THAT SAY, THIS RACE IS GOING TO DEPEND ON THE TURNOUT IN THIS PART OF THE STATE, OR THIS PART OF THE CITY, OR WHATEVER.

LOOKING AT THIS RACE -- AND WHEN I SAY THIS RACE, WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNOR'S RACE AND LOOK ALL THE WAY DOWN.

IS THAT SOMETHING THAT IS -- DO YOU THINK THAT'S ACCURATE?

CAN YOU ACCURATE PREDICT THAT A RACE WILL BE DEPENDENT UPON ONE PARTICULAR AREA OR NOT?

AND IF IT DOES, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THESE RACES AND THE AREAS INVOLVED?

WELL, THERE'S SOME GENERAL TRUISMS THERE.

FIRST OF ALL, NONPRESIDENTIAL YEARS IN NEW YORK GENERALLY REPUBLICANS FARE BETTER AND DEMOCRATS TURN OUT LESS.

DEMOCRATS GET HUGE NUMBERS IN PRESIDENTIAL YEARS.

NOT SO MUCH IN OFF YEARS.

'A.'

'B,' NATIONALLY -- AND WE'RE SEEING THIS HERE, TOO -- IN A MIDTERM ELECTION, TYPICALLY THE PARTY THAT IS HOLDING THE WHITE HOUSE DOES WORSE.

AND THE PARTY THAT'S OUT OF POWER IN THE WHITE HOUSE DOES BETTER.

SO THOSE ARE TWO FACTORS THAT HELP CONTRIBUTE TO REPUBLICAN ENTHUSIASM.

AND THEN SPECIFICALLY ABOUT GEOGRAPHY, I THINK WE'RE GETTING A SENSE THAT ON LONG ISLAND AND IN WEST CHESTER AND SOME OF THE OTHER SUBURBS, TURNOUT WILL BE GOOD.

YOU TIE THAT INTO THE OFF YEAR AND WHAT I SAID ABOUT DEMOCRATS, I THINK DEMOCRATS ARE HOPING THAT THE FIVE BOROUGHS, ESPECIALLY BRONX, BROOKLYN, QUEENS, COMES OUT TO BOOST THEIR OVERALL STATEWIDE TOTAL.

SO THAT'S GOING TO BE INTERESTING THERE.

BUT THEN TO GO BACK TO SOMETHING ALYSSA SAID, LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS -- RIGHT NOW THE DEMOCRATS HAVE A SUPER MAJORITY IN BOTH HOUSES.

BUT TO HANG ON TO IT IN THE SENATE, THEY CAN ONLY LOSE A NET OF ONE SEAT AND REPUBLICANS ARE CERTAINLY TALKING BIG, LIKE PICKING UP MULTIPLE SEATS.

MAYBE NOT WINNING A MAJORITY BECAUSE THAT WOULD -- THAT WOULD TAKE A LOT OF SEATS, BUT CERTAINLY KNOCKING OUT THAT SUPER MAJORITY.

AND THEN THE IDEA THAT THE LEGISLATURE HAS VETO OVERRIDE POWER IS GONE.

LET'S FOCUS ON THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES.

WE TALK ABOUT THEM IN THE INTRODUCTION AND MENTIONED THEM BRIEFLY HERE.

WE KNOW THERE HAVE BEEN SOME INTERESTING REDISTRICTING DECISIONS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE LEADING INTO THESE ELECTIONS.

SO ALYSSA, I'LL COME TO YOU FIRST.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT IN TERMS OF THESE CONGRESSIONAL RACES AND WHAT EACH PARTY SHOULD BE HOPEFUL OF AND CONCERNED ABOUT?

YEAH, SO MY ORGANIZATION THE CITY, THECITY.NYC, WE FOCUS ON THE FIVE BOROUGHS.

SO WE FOCUSED PRIMARILY ON THE RACE FOR CONGRESS THAT COVERS ALL OF STATEN ISLAND AND SOUTHERN BROOKLYN.

JUST TO RECAP, ROSE HELD THE SEAT FOR A COUPLE OF YEAR, AND THEN LOST IN 2020 TO MALIAPAKIS, THE REPUBLICAN.

ROSE IS A DEMOCRAT AND HAD BEEN A CENTRIST DEMOCRAT, MILITARY VETERAN, STYLED HIMSELF AS PART OF THE NEW BREED OF CENTRIST DEMOCRATS.

MALIATAKIS WHO IS TRUMP ALIGNED AND VOTED LIKE ZELDIN, AGAINST CERTIFICATION OF THE ELECTIONS ON JANUARY 6th -- YOU KNOW, SHE HAS REALLY BECOME EVEN MORE SO A KIND OF STAUNCH TRUMPIST.

AND HAS RUN AS SUCH.

SO WHAT IS HAPPENING IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE SO MANY DEMOCRATIC SEATS THAT THREATEN NATIONALLY, AND THERE'S A REAL POSSIBILITY THE DEMOCRATS WILL LOSE THEIR MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE, YOU SUDDENLY HAVE NEW YORK CITY -- AND NEW YORK STATE BEING ONE OF THE STATES REALLY IN PLAY, WHERE CONCEIVABLY DEMOCRATS COULD MAKE UP FOR LOSSES ELSEWHERE.

I THINK IT IS A LONG SHOT FOR ROSE, AND AS MY ORGANIZATION HAS WRITTEN, HE'S RUN A VERY CONSCIOUS CAMPAIGN, WHERE HE'S SORT OF AVOIDS -- THIS IS REALLY WHAT TRIPPED HIM UP IN 2020 WHEN HE WAS FILMED AT A BLACK LIVES MATTER MARCH AFTER THE POLICE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD.

AND THEN MALIATAKIS USED IT IN ADS AGAINST HIM SAYING HE WAS A DEFUND THE POLICE STALWART.

NOW HE'S STAYING AWAY FROM ISSUES THAT MATTER TO DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS IN HIS DISTRICT.

WE WROTE ABOUT HOW MIGRANTS LIVING IN STATEN ISLAND, TRYING TO GET SETTLED THERE AS THEY APPLY FOR ASYLUM, ROSE HAS STAYED AWAY, FOR EXAMPLE, FROM THAT, ISSUE BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WANT 2020 TO HAPPEN AGAIN SOME REAL QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW HE CAN GET VOTER ENTHUSIASM GOING WHEN HE'S CAMPAIGNING SO CAUTIOUSLY.

YANCEY, HOW ABOUT STATEWIDE LOOKING AT THE DIFFERENT CONGRESSIONAL RACES?

THERE'S FOUR RACES ON LONG ISLAND THAT ARE GOING TO BE INTERESTING.

THERE'S FOUR ISLAND BASED SEATS.

GOING INTO THE ELECTION THERE'S SPLIT, TWO AND TWO, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.

BUT WHAT'S UNPRECEDENTED HERE IS THREE OF THE FOUR SEATS ARE OPEN SEATS.

INCUMBENTS NOT RUNNING.

A FOURTH SEAT FEATURES A FIRST-TERM FRESHMAN WHO'S RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION.

SO, YOU KNOW, IT'S A WHOLE NEW CROP OF PEOPLE.

UNFAMILIAR FACES.

HOW ARE THEY PLAYING OUT?

YOU KNOW, THE REPUBLICANS, AGAIN, ARE TALKING ABOUT MAYBE SWEEPING ALL FOUR SEATS.

I KNOW DEMOCRATS THINK THEIR CHANCES ARE GOOD IN SOME OF THESE SEATS, BUT THAT'S GOING TO BE A REAL SWING AREA.

DISTRICTS 1 THROUGH 4 ON LONG ISLAND.

EVERYONE'S WATCHING THE HUDSON VALLEY RACE BETWEEN SEAN PATRICK MALONEY, AN INCUMBENT, HEAD OF THE DEMOCRATS CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE, AND MICHAEL LAWLER WHO'S A REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLYMAN FROM ROCKLAND COUNTY.

THAT'S GOING TO BE ANOTHER ONE TO WATCH THAT MIGHT END UP NOT JUST EFFECTING THE NEW YORK DELEGATIONING BUT ALSO THE NATIONAL.

ROBBIE, HOW ABOUT FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, THE BRONX AREA AND SPREADING OUT, WHAT ARE YOU SEEING IN TERMS OF RACES THAT MIGHT HAVE UNUSUAL RESULTS, UNEXPECTED RESULTS, OR ESPECIALLY IMPACTFUL RESULTS?

IT'S INTERESTING, WITH THE BRONX -- THERE'S A HUGE DEMOCRATIC ADVANTAGE.

BUT I THINK A LOT OF THE PEOPLE IN CONGRESS ARE KIND OF HOUSEHOLD NAMES.

IT'S KIND OF HARD TO BEAT THAT.

CHUCK SCHUMER, YOU KNOW, HE'S GOING AT -- BUT FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE THEY'LL WAKE UP AND VOTE FOR HIM.

AOC.

SHE'S GOING TO BE IN PARK CHESTER, WHICH IS A BIG SOUND STRONGHOLD FOR HER.

SHE'S GOING GALVANIZE THEM.

THEY'RE PROBABLY GOING TO VOTE FOR HER.

I THINK WHEN I TALK TO A LOT OF THE CANDIDATES.

IT'S MORE OR LESS TRYING TO PUT THAT ENERGY OF PEOPLE VOTING FOR THEM OR THEIR VOTERS INTO OTHER RACES.

IT'S, HEY, WE NEED YOU TO GET THE VOTE OUT HERE FOR THIS GOVERNOR'S RACE, OR BE IN TUNE FOR THIS.

INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT THAT MOMENTUM LOOK LIKE FOR THE BRONX.

WE'RE NOT EXPECTING ANY NAIL BITERS.

WE HOPE SO.

THAT'S THE PROCESS.

I HOPE IT'S SOMEWHAT COMPETITIVE.

BUT I THINK TO THE DEGREE IT'S JUST SEEING WHAT THOSE MARGINS LOOK LIKE.

AND WHATEVER OUR VOTERS DO TURN OUT, AND WHO'S STILL ABLE TO KEEP THAT LIKABILITY, THAT FAVORABILITY?

ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE -- NOT FAMOUS PEOPLE -- THE MOST POPULAR PEOPLE IN CONGRESS IS RICHIE TORRES, AND HE REPRESENTS SOUTH BRONX.

HE'S BEEN BIG ON SOUTH BRONX.

PEOPLE REMEMBER THAT, I THINK, WHEN THEY GO TO THE POLLS.

THEY REMEMBER WHO'S FIGHTING FOR REMEMBER THEIR INTERACTIONS, AND THAT MATTERS HERE IN THE BRONX.

GOT ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT HERE.

YANCEY, I'LL COME TO YOU FOR THE LAST QUESTION.

IF SOMEBODY WERE TO SAY TO YOU, PUT A CAPTION ON THIS WHOLE PROCESS LEADING UP TO THIS ELECTION ON TUESDAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I THINK, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN SOME WAYS IS LIKE THE NATIONALIZATION OF ELECTIONS, RIGHT?

AND WHERE NATIONAL THEMES AND CONTROL OF CONGRESS AND ISSUES SUCH AS DONALD TRUMP OR ABORTION RIGHTS OR CRIME TRENDS ARE KIND OF OVERLAYING NOT JUST GOVERNORS' ELECTION BUT A CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION AND STATE LEGISLATURE.

HERE WE ARE IN THIS INTERNET AGE WHERE EVERYONE'S READING THIS ALL OVER THE PLACE ALL THE TIME IN A WAY WHERE THEY DIDN'T BEFORE, WHERE IT SEEMED LIKE THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT MORE OF A LOCAL FLAVOR TO A LOCAL ELECTION OR CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION.

IT WILL BE AN INTERESTING NEXT FEW DAYS, CERTAINLY.

ALYSSA, YANCEY, ROBBIE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR GOOD REPORTING YOU DO AND FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS WILLIAM AN APPRECIATE THEM.

AS ALWAYS WE LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING TO YOU SOON.

YOU ALL BE WELL.

TAKE CARE NOW.

♪♪

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