Trump Targets New York As Democrats Worry Over Biden’s Chances

Former President Donald Trump is making significant inroads in New York, potentially becoming the first Republican to win the state in 40 years. With internal divisions within the Democratic Party over President Joe Biden’s candidacy following his poor debate performance, Trump is capitalizing on the opportunity in the typically Democrat-dominated Empire State.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, a Democrat, acknowledged the state’s shifting political dynamics. “We’re still acting like this is a one-party state, which for pretty much 20, 25 years it has been,” Levine told Politico. “I truly believe we’re a battleground state now.”

In the 2020 election, Biden secured New York by a 23-point margin. However, Trump’s support in New York City increased to 22.6% from 17.9% four years earlier, Spectrum News reported. Two recent private polls in a critical New York House district show Trump narrowly leading Biden by 1 point.

Trump is aiming to be the first Republican presidential candidate to carry New York since Ronald Reagan in 1984. He held a campaign rally in the South Bronx in late May, targeting a Democrat stronghold to erode Biden’s support among minority voters.

“Even if he [Trump] doesn’t win New York and New Jersey, if he comes close, what does that tell you about the rest of the country?” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) told Politico.

A Siena College poll in June revealed Biden’s lead over Trump had shrunk from 12 points in February to just 8 points. The drop in Biden’s support is attributed to concerns over taxes and crime, with independent voters increasingly favoring Republicans.

“We were definitely alarmed at how bad he’s doing statewide,” a union official told Politico.

Basil Smikle, a former executive director for the New York Democratic Party, stressed the urgency for Biden to reframe his campaign message in New York. “The [Biden] campaign needs to do a better job of framing the argument that the choice is between a convicted felon and a president who has done a good job,” Smikle said. “It’s alarming they have to do this in New York, a progressive state with a progressive history.”

Elected officials, union leaders, and political consultants are urging Biden’s campaign to allocate resources to New York. However, former New York Gov. David Paterson warned that doing so could detract from efforts in other key areas. “The money that needs to be spent here will be subtracted from other areas he’s going to lose,” Paterson told Politico.

The battle for control of the House, especially in battleground districts in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, adds to the stakes. Former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran advised, “If I’m a Democrat in some of these suburban races, I’d run the hell away from Joe Biden.”

Trump’s growing support in New York signifies a potential shift in the state’s political landscape, making it a crucial battleground in the upcoming presidential election.