New York State Senate (Part 1) by Tom Reynolds
Proposed laws must be passed by both houses of the NY State legislature: the Senate and the Assembly. Over the past thirty years, the Assembly has been dominated by liberal New York City Democrats while the Senate was usually held by Republicans from Upstate and Long Island. The Senate acted as a buffer to stop most extreme liberal, anti-gun laws from being enacted. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the only NY government body that was on the side of the 2nd Amendment – most of the time. The Republican Senators played politics like a goalie; they stopped most, but not all shots, (think SAFE Act), and they never went on offense.
Prior to the 2018 election, the Republicans held the majority by 32 to 31. In November 2018’s election, Republicans decisively lost control of the Senate; Democrats defeated five Republican incumbents and won three seats where the Republican incumbent didn’t run. Later, nine other sitting Republicans announced their retirement. Over half of the Republican “goalies” from 2018 will be gone in 2021! In addition, Rob Ortt replaced John Flanagan as the leader of the Senate Republican Conference and Nick Langworthy replaced Ed Cox as the New York Republican Committee Chairman. Both Ortt and Langworthy are from upstate western New York while their predecessors were from NY City and Long Island. Has the Republican Party leadership figured out where their base is located?
What happened in 2018?
2016 was a presidential election year and, historically, voter turnout is much greater than two years later, in what is called an “off year election”. In NY, the governorship is on the ballot in “off year elections”. NY Senate seats are on the ballot every two years so they are contested in both presidential election years and off years.
Looking just at the total votes for all New York Senators, in 2018 there were 1,013,000 fewer ballots cast than in 2016; fewer votes are expected in an “off year election”. The Democrats cast 263,000 fewer ballots in 2018 than in 2016, while Republicans cast 713,000 fewer ballots in 2018. In four of the districts that turned from Republican to Democrat in 2018, the Democrats got more votes in 2018 than 2016.
There are three probable causes of this: First, some might see this as a reaction to President Trump, good or bad. (But he wasn’t on the ballot). Second, Republicans were uninspired by the non performing “goalies” in the Senate and registered their disgust by not voting. (Talk about self-defeating!) Third, Democrats know their vote counts in NY while many Republicans believe their vote doesn’t count. Without a presidential election to bring them out, Republicans sat at home while Democrats knew they could elect a governor if they just showed up. (75% of life is just showing up. Republicans didn’t and their political influence is just barely alive in New York.)
What’s the answer to all this? Just show up and vote. Don’t worry just about the presidential election, the down ballot seats are important. These are the people who will stop or allow anti-gun legislation to pass. These are the mayors and sheriffs that will make decisions when the “peaceful protesters” come to your neighborhood to steal, burn and pillage. These are the councilpersons who will vote on defunding your police. Your future is in your hands.