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Winning hearts and minds

Daily Point

Video games are new campaign territory for Biden

Players of the popular Nintendo video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons can now show their support for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with a set of free virtual yard signs.

Biden’s entrance into the world of Animal Crossing means there is now no safe space to escape from the 2020 presidential campaign. Similarly, Hillary Clinton urged voters to “Pokemon Go to the polls!” in 2016, causing many gamers to cringe in embarrassment.

The Biden campaign announced the launch of virtual campaign materials on its official store site on Tuesday. Anyone can download four yard-sign designs through the Nintendo Switch Online app, with QR codes pointing players to the specific designs they would like to display on their in-game island.

Find out more about Biden's virtual campaign signs and whether or not the Trump campaign will also look to capture the attention of gamers.

—Michael Cusanelli @MCusanelliSB

Talking Point

Can Trump win big in New York?

Is Donald Trump really in the running for New York’s Electoral College bounty? 

Recently, the president claimed his former home state is in play in 2020, and Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked him about it in an interview Monday night. “Do you think you could win in New York? Will you campaign or try to campaign in New York?” she asked.

“So I’m going to give it a very good shot. I’m going to give New York a very good shot, because the same people that voted against me like me now. And you know I won upstate big, I won Long Island. All the outside of the little circle in the middle here [appears to mean NYC], which is crazy because I built so many things there,” said Trump.

Let’s parse that answer. 

He didn’t win the majority of votes cast on Long Island. Trump got 48.6% of the Long Island vote. He won Suffolk County with 52.5% of the vote but only got 45.9% of the Nassau County vote. Third party candidates did quite well here but Trump’s margins were higher on LI than in similar suburban counties in “blue” states won by Hillary Clinton.

New Yorkers don’t have a better impression of Trump four years later. A Siena College poll in September 2016 had Trump down in the state 29% to 68% for Clinton.

A recent, private statewide poll reviewed by The Point is almost identical. In August, Trump was at 29% to 67% for Biden. Trump hasn’t lost support, but he hasn’t moved the needle, either. 

That 2016 Siena poll also had Trump at 38% to 59% in the NYC suburbs. The August 2020 poll shows the president in the same place: 39% to 59% for Biden on Long Island.

In 2016, Clinton won New York with 59% of the vote to Trump’s 36.5%. So Trump is correct that the city of his birth as well as his fame and fortune — that circle in the middle, as he calls it — will keep the state blue.

—Rita Ciolli @RitaCiolli

Pencil Point

Getting taller

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Final Point

Sweetening the deal

The Huntington Town Board meets Thursday to hear a last round of public comment and vote on LIPA’s offer to settle the tax assessment dispute over the Northport Power Plant, and there’s a lot of money riding on the vote. A $3 million sweetener LIPA added to the pot last week for the town and the Northport-East Northport School District is designed to create a majority on the five-member board. 

But the Town of Brookhaven and the Port Jefferson School District will have a lot riding on Thursday’s vote, too, thanks to language in their LIPA settlement agreements that grant them essentially the same things later deals include.  

But, Nassau County, unless it moves quickly, may lose out

—Lane Filler @lanefiller

The Point will return on Tuesday, Sept. 8th. We hope you enjoy a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.