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Opinion

McKinstry: After electoral rout, a hard reality for New York Republicans

Randy Altschuler thanks his supporters at Suffolk Republican

Randy Altschuler thanks his supporters at Suffolk Republican headquarters in Patchogue after losing to Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop. (Nov. 6, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

President Obama won New York. You probably knew that before the votes were counted.

But what was so striking was how big the president won in this state, and in some instances, counties like Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau. Those wins hurt Republicans lower on the ballot.

Obama garnered 62.7 percent, or 3.8 million, of the votes across the state, compared with Romney’s 36 percent, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections.

In Suffolk County, Obama had nearly 51 percent to Romney’s 48 percent, with the president pulling in nearly 275,000 votes to Romney’s roughly 260,000.

Westchester voters backed Obama by just under 61 percent, whereas Nassau and Rockland were at about 53 percent each.

The president's coattails proved to be long in many places, notably the Hudson Valley, where Democrats won handily in many down-ballot races and knocked off Republican incumbents in others -- for the House of Representatives, Assembly and State Senate.

Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney ousted Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-Bedford) with 52 percent of the vote, and White Plains City Councilman David Buchwald knocked off Assemb. Robert Castelli (R-Goldens Bridge) with 53 percent. Both incumbents had served just one term.

Despite leading in polls before the election, Republican Randy Altschuler lost to incumbent Rep. Timothy Bishop, a Democrat in Suffolk.

Now it look like New York is under one-party rule: Democrats have a governor, the attorney general, two U.S. senators and both houses of the State Legislature, as it appears Democrats captured the majority in the State Senate. Republicans have only six of New York’s 27 congressional seats, whereas the party held eight in 2010.

"It's like an arm just swept the pieces off the kitchen table," said Bill O'Reilly, a GOP political strategist who worked on congressional and State Senate races (and also writes a column for Newsday).

The GOP can thank the president for ruining their runs this year. If they want to win in two or four years, they’re going to have to clean up a mess. And it starts with broadening their base.

Pictured above:  Randy Altschuler thanks his supporters at Suffolk Republican headquarters in Patchogue after losing to Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop. (Nov. 6, 2012)

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