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Opinion

A final push

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a weekly news conference on Oct. 1, 2020, on Capitol Hill. Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Daily Point

Pelosi’s guest appearance

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi headed a Zoom fundraising call Thursday to benefit the congressional campaigns of Nancy Goroff in CD1 and Jackie Gordon in CD2, two of the seats Democrats are hoping to flip from red to blue this year. Their campaigns emailed previous donors — Goroff’s note said Suffolk deserved better than "Trump sycophant Lee Zeldin" — inviting them to join the 5 p.m. call. There were more than 100 donors on the call, which netted the campaigns $60,000 in contributions.

Jay Jacobs, the New York and Nassau County Democratic chair who participated in the call, told The Point that Pelosi spoke and took questions for 45 minutes about House races nationally and the trends party operatives are seeing this cycle.

Meanwhile, the person ahead of Pelosi in the presidential succession list, Vice President Mike Pence, sent out an email for Zeldin on Wednesday saying he’d just finished up a "strategy call" with the Shirley Republican. The VP said in the email that Zeldin, who was "instrumental in fighting back during impeachment," needed fundraising help for the race.

"I just heard about Lee’s far-left radical opponent and how Pelosi is throwing MILLIONS into this race to get Lee out."

—Rita Ciolli @ritaciolli

Talking Point

A final push

With presidential debates in the rearview mirror, President Donald Trump is making his final case to voters in the ad space.

Here’s what that pitch looks like in New York, according to the Facebook political ad archive:

  • The active ads that hit the top tier of impression visibility in the state are mostly related to fundraising and merchandise, from yard signs to MAGA hats.
  • Issue ads focus on the Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, with text calling the nominee a "true Constitutionalist who is committed to upholding the rule of law." The Supreme Court was a subject almost entirely absent from Thursday night’s debate.
  • Other New York Facebook ads criticize Democratic nominee Joe Biden as corrupt, untrustworthy and a "puppet" of the left: "BIDEN HAS SPENT THE LAST 47 YEARS BETRAYING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE."
  • Recent ads also have hit on the social issues Trump deployed throughout the campaign, claiming he would "not stand by and allow dangerous MOBS like Antifa" to "run through our streets and cause absolute mayhem by way of RIOTING and LOOTING."

Trump’s flooding of and skill in the digital ad space have been much reported since 2016, but this time around Democrats have a weapon to parry with: the Republican refugees of the Lincoln Project. New Yorkers might not be seeing as much of the work of this group of GOP defectors who are anti-Trump, given that their swanky video ads are often targeted to swing areas.

Recent ads include:

  • One focused on fathers, sons, and manhood and what the admakers describe as Trump’s lack thereof.
  • A brutal spot about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and how "authoritarians always start the same." The ad ends: "Trump is just English for Castro."
  • A piece on the "deadbeat" morals of a close Trump staffer.
  • Another on how it’s "mourning" in Iowa, one of the group’s variations on its widespread mourning in America ads from the spring — a morbid variation on the famous line from President Ronald Reagan.

That’s the kind of happy-to-go-negative spirit that Lincoln Project co-founder and veteran strategist Rick Wilson described in a recent New Yorker article: "Democrats play to win an argument; I play to win an election."

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

Unhappy Halloween

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Final Point

Nearing the finish line

Newsday’s editorial board completed its endorsement interviews Friday — 72 candidates running in 37 races for public office. Our recommendations in Long Island’s 22 State Assembly districts, the final tranche of endorsements, will be published next week. The process allows the board to be informed about local issues and concerns in both Suffolk and Nassau counties and how constituents feel about state and national issues, and to meet so many knowledgeable people involved with public service. Sometimes, the choices are really difficult to make. In other races, neither candidate is overwhelming, but the voters have to make a choice, so we do as well.

Our thanks and best wishes to all who participated.

Review our endorsements here.

—Rita Ciolli @ritaciolli

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