Clin­ton could help Dems gain con­trol of N.Y. Se­nate

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Sun­day Free­man colum­nist Alan Char­tock is a pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the State Uni­ver­sity of New York, pub­lisher of the Leg­isla­tive Gazette and CEO of the WAMC North­east Pub­lic Ra­dio Net­work. Read­ers can email him at alan@wamc.org. Alan Char­tock

Free­man colum­nist Alan Char­tock dis­cusses the state of the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and how its im­pacts state races.

The sec­ond great pres­i­den­tial de­bate is now be­hind us, and the im­pli­ca­tions, both state and fed­eral, are huge. Ev­ery­one has the­o­ries about what’s re­ally go­ing on, and I’ll give you a few of mine.

Af­ter the Don­ald Trump tape hit the air­waves, Repub­li­can lead­ers who never liked Trump be­gan to desert him in droves. That left them in big trou­ble be­cause a lot of peo­ple voted for Trump in the pri­maries, and most polls in­di­cate that those con­ser­va­tive vot­ers have not de­serted Trump — and won’t, no mat­ter what he says. That leaves peo­ple in the mid­dle who either dis­like Hil­lary Clin­ton and Trump or who have yet to make up their mind as the cru­cial vot­ers.

In New York state, it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter. Clin­ton is go­ing to swamp Trump. That’s fine, but the ques­tion re­mains whether that will af­fect the rest of the races in New York, in­clud­ing the race for con­trol of the state Se­nate.

When Clin­ton ran for re-elec­tion to the Se­nate, she re­ceived 67 per­cent of the vote, some­thing that she men­tioned in the sec­ond de­bate with Trump, al­though Trump kept in­sist­ing she had bro­ken her eco­nomic prom­ises to the vot­ers of up­state New York.

Clin­ton, of course, is aware that guns are a huge part of the up­state po­lit­i­cal mix, and Trump was all over her on the is­sue. To her great credit, Clin­ton al­lowed that she re­spected the Sec­ond Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion but that she thought there ought to be con­trols on who is al­lowed to buy guns. My bet is that most peo­ple agree. Also, Trump posited that, de­spite Hil­lary’s prom­ises to im­prove the up­state econ­omy, she was un­able to de­liver. It might be pointed out in con­tradis­tinc­tion to Trump’s taunts that Clin­ton was a U.S. sen­a­tor, not the state’s gov­er­nor.

There is big trou­ble for the state’s Repub­li­cans. Their can­di­date for U.S. Se­nate, Wendy Long, is go­ing to take a se­vere trounc­ing. She is foot­ball fields be­hind the al­ways pop­u­lar in­cum­bent, Chuck Schumer.

That brings us back to the state Se­nate. If Hil­lary brings out a huge crowd of peo­ple who dis­like Trump, which I ex­pect she will, many will show up at the polls to vote for the top of­fice. While state Repub­li­can Chair­man Ed Cox be­lieves mid­dle-range vot­ers will con­tinue to vote for in­cum­bent Repub­li­can state se­na­tors, I’m not so sure. I think many of the new­bies show­ing up will have no clue who their state se­na­tors are. As a re­sult, and be­cause they want to elect Demo­crat Clin­ton, they will look down the line and vote for other Democrats. At least that’s the way it has al­ways worked in elec­tions of this kind.

Many of us know that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was com­fort­able with the Repub­li­cans con­trol­ling the “up­per house.” But now Cuomo will be fac­ing a tough elec­tion for a third term, and the word is out among Democrats that he is not where he should be on that cru­cial is­sue. So Cuomo will have to at least act like he wants a Demo­cratic Se­nate.

If the Democrats take con­trol of the state Se­nate, that will just about mean the ball game for the Repub­li­cans. That’s why this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion is so cru­cial to help turn out peo­ple who usu­ally couldn’t care less about statewide races. The fact that New Yorker Don­ald Trump is on the ticket doesn’t seem to mean much to New York­ers. The state seems to be get­ting bluer and bluer. Trump’s bom­bast and bait­ing of blacks and women has made many vot­ers want to retch. Up­staters may not like taxes, but they pay them and they don’t re­spect some­one who doesn’t pay his fair share. That’s why Trump won’t re­lease his tax re­turns.

Trump’s de­bate per­for­mances will not go over well in up­state New York, you can take my word for it.

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