President Donald Trump in March and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe...

President Donald Trump in March and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in February. Credit: Composite: AFP via Getty Images / Saul Loeb and Ronda Churchill

Daily Point

Analyzing the polls

Public Policy Polling has a new survey with some eye-bulging numbers regarding President Donald Trump in New York’s 1st Congressional District: The poll shows Trump tied with former Vice President Joe Biden, 47-47. 

That would be a significant shift from the 2016 election, when Trump won the district by more than 10% after Barack Obama won narrowly twice. 

The poll’s finding mirrors other suggestions of Trump losing a step in the suburbs nationally, and whether that holds might be a crucial factor in congressional races on LI. 

This particular poll was paid for by the Nancy Goroff-aligned PAC 314 Action Fund, according to Goroff’s campaign, and it found Rep. Lee Zeldin ahead, 47% to 40%.

How to read those results? Begin the spin. That’s “within single digits,” said a PPP memo. And a Thursday campaign email from Goroff said that “as the Democratic nominee, our campaign is within just 2 POINTS of my hyper partisan GOP opponent.” PPP only found a 2-point gap after voters were messaged about the candidates. 

Goroff, a former chair of the Stony Brook University chemistry department who contributed hefty sums to her successful primary run, is a political unknown, so it’s reasonable to think expensive TV ads could lead to some gap-narrowing. 

In Zeldin’s favor, PPP has been criticized in the past for methodological issues and some off results in 2016. This particular poll of 1,100 CD1 voters was conducted half by phone and half by text on July 14 and 15 with a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, according to the memo. Zeldin campaign spokesman Lance Trover called the text-call combination “bizarre,” and said that “even a Democratic polling firm …. couldn’t come up with a single twisted, biased line of polling questions in which Congressman Zeldin isn’t still reelected.”

The 7-point lead is more than he won by in 2018, and the campaign-tested incumbent has consistently raked in millions of dollars in fundraising to combat Democrats. 

But the much-tighter Trump-Biden finding hangs over the rest of the results. One reading (or spin) might be that even if swathes of Suffolk County are tired of the president, Zeldin has a bigger lead than the head of his party. Or there could be trouble ahead if the Shirley Republican remains closely identified and allied with the president.

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

A port upgrade for Port Jefferson?

The big offshore wind solicitation announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo earlier this week — 2,500 megawatts, to complement the nearly 1,700 megawatts awarded to two projects last year — also included a $400 million plan for public and private investment in 11 ports.

One of those is Port Jefferson.

The area was selected by Sunrise Wind, one of last year’s awardees, to be its operations and maintenance hub. Sunrise, a joint venture from Danish wind giant Orsted and transmission company Eversource, has said it would invest $11 million in what it calls “major port infrastructure upgrades.” It promised the hub, which it said would create 100 permanent full-time jobs, would include an office facility, a warehouse and dockage for a 250-foot boat that would do maintenance on the 880-megawatt wind farm located some 30 miles off Montauk.

The two companies also are partnering on the 132-megawatt South Fork Wind Farm, also off Montauk.

Port Jefferson, like other ports such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, was pre-qualified to apply for part of the $400 million in a process initiated by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority last fall. Some of the ports will be involved in manufacturing and shipping out components like turbines and blades.

“The $400 million being invested in port infrastructure includes $200 million in public funding and a required matching from private industry for an additional $200 million,” NYSERDA spokeswoman Kate Muller wrote in an email to The Point. “Orsted/EverSource are pre-qualified to apply for funding under the new solicitation but any investment they’ve already committed, such as the $11 million, would not count towards the private matching requirements.”

While Sunrise Wind declined to comment directly on its response to the solicitation, it said in a statement, “We look forward to delivering on the major commitments we have already made to Long Island in connection with our South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind projects and to the new good-paying jobs they will create —– all while helping the state meet its clean energy goals.” 

And giving Port Jefferson a boost of energy, too.

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie

Pencil Point

Who would have thought?

Ken Catalino

Ken Catalino

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Final Point

United Shades of Great Neck

Sen. Anna Kaplan and W. Kamau Bell, taken in her...

Sen. Anna Kaplan and W. Kamau Bell, taken in her home in September during the filming of an episode of Bell's CNN series, United Shades of America. Credit: Sean Collins

W. Kamau Bell is a comedian known for his edgy standup and his CNN series, United Shades of America, in which he visits communities across America to understand the challenges they face. The show has won Emmy Awards three years running for best unstructured reality program.

Anna Kaplan is a state senator from Great Neck now seeking her second term, the first Iranian-American to be elected to the State Legislature and the first former political refugee to serve in the State Senate. A Persian Jew raised in Tabriz, Iran, she was sent to America alone as a 13-year-old when the country was consumed by revolution in 1979; she was later joined by her parents.

And last September, the two came together in Great Neck to celebrate, discuss and enjoy the traditions of a Persian Shabbos dinner, pre-COVID, with the event filmed for a show set to air at 10 p.m. on Aug. 30.

Find out how the episode came together here.

—Lane Filler @lanefiller

Promo Point

Special needs students and COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has made schooling difficult for parents, and the quarantine has made remote learning particularly difficult for parents and teachers of students with special needs. 

At 10 a.m. Friday, join opinion columnist Lane Filler for a virtual discussion and interactive Q&A about what to expect in the fall, and what can be done to help students with special needs, their families and their teachers succeed. On the panel are:f Dr. Robert R. Dillon, district superintendent of Nassau BOCES; Rebecca Bilski, director of Pupil Personnel Services for the Hauppauge school district; Kathy Radigan, writer and East Northport mom; and Dr. Shiby Abraham, board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and chief of inpatient psychiatric unit at Mercy Hospital Medical Center.

Sign up for the free webinar here.