Long Island played a distinctive role in Tuesday’s presidential primaries — one that some will cheer while others jeer.
Republican Donald Trump did remarkably well in Suffolk and Nassau, gathering more than 136,000 votes from across the two counties, located in five congressional districts.
That was after both county chairmen — leaders of the local GOP “establishment” — got behind Trump’s campaign.
In fact, Trump got more Long Island votes than Hillary Clinton collected in her Democratic primary, which totaled about 121,000. Bernie Sanders collected 84,000-plus votes in the two counties.
Notice how starkly that contrasts with the statewide picture.
Statewide, Clinton got more than 1 million votes, with Sanders close to 753,000, and Trump only 515,291.
In the 2nd Congressional District alone, represented by Peter King (R-Seaford), Trump got an eye-popping 75 percent compared with 17 percent for John Kasich and 8 percent for Ted Cruz.
King has slammed Trump, but on primary day, with the billionaire poised for a rout in his district, the veteran congressman repeated his attack on Trump nemesis Cruz, vowing to take cyanide if the Texas senator won the nomination.
Trump won 26 percent of his total primary vote in Nassau and Suffolk. Overall, the counties have 24 percent of the state’s 2.7 million registered Republicans.
These Long Island results have yet to be fully dissected, but they suggest intriguing questions. Could Trump carry Long Island if he faces Clinton in November, and will that run counter to trends in the rest of the state?
Did it affect the results that Trump appeared last week at a GOP dinner that drew protests for its proximity to the scene of the 2008 Marcelo Lucero hate-crime slaying? Apparently not.
Trump said afterward that he never knew the location’s significance. That was in the 1st Congressional District of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who did not endorse in the primary.
On Tuesday, Trump won 73 percent of the district’s GOP vote.