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Good Afternoon

The finish line in sight

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley). Credit: James Carbone

Daily Point

Zeldin ad hits on familiar points

Rep. Lee Zeldin is out with a new TV ad featuring a South Country Ambulance Company leader praising him for securing personal protective equipment and other supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s not his first TV ad hitting this point, that Zeldin delivered for his district during the COVID-19 crisis. These videos also highlight the Shirley incumbent’s military service. The other ad strategy is to define his opponent, Nancy Goroff, a political newcomer, as a "radical professor" whom he characterizes as far to the left on policing issues.

Those appeals on district and social issues are different from Zeldin’s other campaign strategy, which is to coast off his relationship with President Donald Trump among voters for whom that remains a selling point. On that front, Vice President Mike Pence has rallied for and boosted Zeldin, and Zeldin has fundraised with Pence’s wife, Karen, and is fundraising with Donald Trump Jr. on Monday.

Earlier this month, Zeldin tweeted a picture about being "at a fired up Truckers for Trump Rally this afternoon in Ronkonkoma!" And on Twitter, along with Trump himself, he has jumped into the New York Post-Hunter Biden discourse — rewarded by tweet after tweet going viral.

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

Endorsement season update

The Newsday Editorial Board is heading down the homestretch of its busy endorsement season.

By Monday evening, the editorial board will have met with 48 candidates in local races for Congress, State Senate and State Assembly, in 30 different Zoom sessions.

For congressional races, the board met with candidates individually, while in the others, we brought both candidates for a local race in at the same time. And there are a few instances when a candidate doesn’t have an active opponent, so the board met with a candidate on his or her own.

After Monday, the board will have 10 more meetings — and 20 more candidates — to go.

So far, the youngest candidate we’ve met with is 23 years old, while the oldest is 78.

We’ve already rolled out our presidential and congressional endorsements. This week will bring endorsements in Long Island’s nine State Senate districts. After that: the State Assembly.

Find all of our endorsements at As a Point subscriber, you’re able to get a sneak peek through our limited edition endorsements newsletter. The next newsletter will arrive in your email soon!

—Randi F. Marshall and Victoria Rigney-Ramirez @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Qanon on the mind

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Quick Points

  • Who knew that amid the coronavirus pandemic a new malady would arrive that might prove equally dangerous — pandemic fatigue.
  • Candidates and pundits alike are saying that the 2020 presidential election is a battle for the soul of the nation. Which misses the real question: Has America lost its soul?
  • Suffolk County police are warning about scammers posing as utility company workers to get into people’s homes and rob them. Which is ironic since many Long Islanders with high utility bills say they’ve been getting robbed for years.
  • Democrats are walloping Republicans in fundraising — nearly 2-to-1 in the presidential race, more than double in the top 14 U.S. Senate races — and breaking records along the way. And money, as they say, is the mother’s milk of politics. No wonder South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and other GOP candidates are rethinking Citizens United.
  • About 7% of former Vice President Joe Biden’s TV ads have been attack ads, compared to 62% of those from President Donald Trump. File that under "least surprising facts about the 2020 presidential campaign."
  • When a Long Island Rail Road worker was suspended after accusations he often arrived late for work, went home early and improperly took a company car home, his union leader chided LIRR officials for not noticing the employee wasn’t where he was supposed to be on some 22 occasions. Merriam-Webster immediately moved to add that to its definitions of "chutzpah."
  • President Donald Trump’s advisers say they expect the president to be less combative in Thursday’s debate against former Vice President Joe Biden than he was in their first showdown. That’s a low bar. It’s hard to see how Trump could be more combative without actual fisticuffs.
  • After President Donald Trump’s continuing attacks on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provoked rally chants of "lock her up" that garnered the president’s approval, campaign senior adviser and daughter-in-law Lara Trump defended the president as only "having fun." When this follows by only days the arrests of Michigan militia members for plotting to kidnap Whitmer, Trump has moved way beyond the realm of "having fun" and into the kingdom of inciting danger.

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie