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Down-ballot blues

Good afternoon. Today’s points:

  • GOP’s New York state of mind right now
  • Waiting for Pidot
  • Let’s catch you up

Daily Point

What Trump means for the NY down-ballot races

Hillary Clinton’s strong lead in the Siena College poll of New York voters released Monday has many down-ballot Republicans worried that their voters will stay home in November. She’s leading Donald Trump among registered voters 57 percent to 27 percent — the biggest Empire State gap since the two emerged as their parties’ leaders.

What’s more, Trump is significantly down among GOP respondents, with just 52 percent supporting him. That’s causing more than the usual presidential election year concerns that the State Senate GOP can hold onto its majority coalition.

One shaky Republican seat is the open race in 7th SD, which is being vacated by Sen. Jack Martins. Democrat Adam Haber, an East Hills businessman and Roslyn school-board member, is running against Republican Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips.

Veteran Carl Marcellino also has a tough race on his hands in the 5th SD against Democratic challenger Jim Gaughran, the Suffolk County Water Authority chairman and former Suffolk legislator. Gaughran is raising money and campaigning fiercely.

And Kemp Hannon, whose Democratic opponent Ryan Cronin garnered 48 percent of the vote in 2012 with little party support, is also at risk of losing in November. NYS Democrats have vowed to fully fund Cronin in this 6th SD rematch.

Being a freshman is always a concern, but Republican Tom Croci is likely to hold onto his 3rd SD seat. The other GOP rookie, however, may have a little more to worry about. Michael Venditto, who holds the seat in the 8th SD and is running against Democrat John Brooks, could find his father’s name recognition hurts more than it helps this year. Oyster Bay financial woes are plaguing John Venditto, the longtime town supervisor, and passing over that name could be a way for those in the town to express their frustration.

Anne Michaud

Talking Point

The show must go on

The electoral saga of Philip Pidot will have its next episode Wednesday in a federal court in Syracuse.

Veteran elections attorney Jerry Goldfeder will appear for the Republican to continue arguing that Pidot has a right to face state Sen. Jack Martins in a GOP primary to decide who will represent the party on the ballot for the Third Congressional District seat in November. Pidot has been up and down in this struggle, but most recently saw his attempts to get a primary ordered by a state court end last month, when a four-judge panel upheld a ruling by Supreme Court Justice Arthur Diamond against scheduling a new primary in the race.

Pidot’s camp has argued it had the requisite 1,250 signatures all along, despite challenges by Martins. State courts have essentially agreed that Pidot had the needed signatures, but ruled that his original lawyer did not ask for a new election date in a timely manner. So Wednesday’s hearing could lead to a primary date, or a nominee, or, if the history of this issue is any guide, another hearing.

Lane Filler

Pencil Point

Button holes

Quick Points

It’s a miracle

  • Mother Teresa will be formally canonized next month. Waiting for Hillary Clinton’s campaign to tweet that she has performed two miracles, too, by leading Donald Trump despite the email scandal and the rampant Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest.
  • Some parents and alums of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy said the Kings Point school overreacted to sexual harassment reports when it canceled the yearlong on-ship training known as Sea Year. Right, because 63 percent of women cadets saying they were sexually harassed is not a crisis.
  • At a Connecticut rally, Donald Trump cited General Electric’s decision to move out of the state, told voters there would be consequences for companies that leave Connecticut, and proposed a 35 percent tax on companies that choose to make products outside the U.S. But GE moved to Boston.
  • Fidel Castro celebrated his 90th birthday in Cuba over the weekend. After the gala, he went home in his Edsel.
  • GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is suggesting he’ll break with Donald Trump and release his tax returns. No word on when he’s going to just plain break and release his frustration with his running mate.
  • Oyster Bay Town attorney Leonard Genova, in discussing the town ethics board’s failure to review information that former planning commissioner Frederick Ippolito received $2 million from a firm that had town contracts and with whom he was negotiating a property rezoning, said, “Hindsight’s always 20-20.” Foresight in cases like this should be 20-20, too, but Oyster Bay has always had a vision problem.
  • Donald Trump says his real opponent in this election is the crooked media. He’s losing that one, too.

Michael Dobie