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Down to the wire in race between Chris McGrath and Todd Kaminsky

Green Party candidate Laurence Hirsh, Republican Christopher McGrath

Green Party candidate Laurence Hirsh, Republican Christopher McGrath and Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) are vying for a seat in the Ninth Senate District. Credit: Mike Stobo; Rick Kopstein; handout

The local undercard in Tuesday’s election is a brutal contest.

Control of the State Senate, the last GOP bastion in NYS, is not likely to flip if Kaminsky wins. But the fight to fill out the remaining eight months of former state Sen. Dean Skelos’ term became a proxy battle for control of the chamber. Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, looked fearsome in a contest expected to be fought over ethics against McGrath, a political novice.

But the state GOP, which called the shots and provided bottomless funding for McGrath’s campaign, stayed with its proven winner: Democrats raise taxes and favor New York City. Plus, Mayor Bill de Blasio has high negatives in the district.

So the GOP pounded Kaminsky with negative ads trying to link him to the mayor. Kaminsky’s counterpunch, trying to tie McGrath to Skelos, wasn’t as effective. Skelos had an outsized popularity in his home turf and some still see him as a tragic figure. That blow wasn’t as bare-knuckled.

Turnout in the presidential contest may decide the outcome, but this race should have been Kaminsky’s in a walk.

Dems are turning out

This just in: Nassau County Democratic chair Jay Jacobs tells us that as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, slightly more Democrats had turned out in the 9th State Senate District than Republicans.

After Republicans and Democrats voted in the presidential primary in SD 9, they had to get a second ballot at a different table to vote in the special Senate race. Both major parties were showing a 15 percent drop-off in voters, meaning 15 percent left without voting in the Senate contest. Still, 2 percent more Democrats than Republicans voted in the Senate race.

That edge may turn out to be insignificant. Those registered as Independence, Working Families and Conservative party members, as well as those with no party preference who showed up just to vote in the Senate race, could make the difference.

Even the president got involved

Just in case Mel Brooks didn’t do the trick for his great-nephew earlier this month, perhaps President Barack Obama will push Todd Kaminsky across the finish line.Obama robocalled the 9th Senate District Monday night, saying he supported the Democratic assemblyman.