Nassau Dems have voter enrollment edge

Light turnout for primary voting at Dutch Broadway Light turnout for primary voting at Dutch Broadway Elementary School in Elmont, New York. (Sept. 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Nassau County Democrats enter the general election on Tuesday with their largest statistical advantage in voter enrollment in at least a century, but the numbers might make little difference in determining some of the ballot's biggest races.

President Barack Obama is widely expected to win New York and its 29 electoral votes, while polls have first-term U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand significantly ahead of her Republican opponent, Wendy Long.

Meanwhile, all four members of Congress with districts that cover at least a part of Nassau -- Democrats Carolyn McCarthy of Mineola, Gregory Meeks of St. Albans and Steve Israel of Huntington, and Republican Peter King of Seaford -- are longtime incumbents with significant fundraising advantages over their challengers.

Both parties say a handful of State Senate and Assembly seats could be competitive. Republicans, who hold all of the county's state Senate seats, say they are eyeing the 20th Assembly District, where Democratic incumbent Harvey Weisenberg of Long Beach is being challenged by David Sussman of Lawrence, a urologist and past president of the Lawrence school board.

The GOP also is focusing on the 13th Assembly District in which Republican Louis Imbroto of Plainview, co-chairman of the Nassau County Youth Cabinet, is challenging Democratic Assemb. Charles Lavine of Glen Cove. Democrats lead in voter enrollment in both districts.

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County Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs is hoping for an upset in the 6th State Senate District, where attorney Ryan Cronin of Garden City, is challenging incumbent Republican Kemp Hannon of Garden City, who has held the seat for more than two decades. Republicans have a slight enrollment advantage in the district but 20 percent of voters are unaffiliated.

Democrats also are focusing on the new 22nd Assembly seat in the western part of the county, created by redistricting following the 2010 Census. Democrat Michaelle Solages, a librarian from Elmont whose brother, CarriƩ, is a Nassau County legislator, is facing Sean Wright of Valley Stream, a deputy attorney for the Town of Hempstead. The district leans Democratic.

Republicans have a 33-29 majority in the State Senate while Democrats have a 51-seat advantage in the Assembly.

Countywide, there are 351,456 registered Democrats; 322,845 Republicans, according to the Board of Elections, with 198,453 registered with no party affiliation.

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