Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- It’s cash vs. chaos in these State Senate races
- Inside the mayor’s email
- Why never-ending 2016 election is on last possible date
Figuring out the Republican Senate advantage
As we head into the final 25 days of election season, GOP candidates in the five most competitive State Senate districts on Long Island have an aggregate cash advantage of better than 2-to-1.
October filings with the state Board of Elections show that Republicans are sitting on $1,021,430 in the five most contentious districts, compared with the Democrats’ $480,450.
Here’s how that breaks down:
- In the 5th Senate District, incumbent Carl Marcellino has $209,637 to Democrat Jim Gaughran’s $120,191.
- In the 6th District, incumbent Kemp Hannon reports $534,563 to Ryan Cronin’s $12,236.
- In the open seat in the 7th District, Republican Elaine Phillips’ war chest amounts to $119,382, while Adam Haber’s is $52,438.
- In the 8th District, first-term Sen. Michael Venditto has $95,244, and his opponent John Brooks reports having raised no money.
- The 9th District is the only seat where the Democrat has more cash. Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who won a special election in April, reported $377,900 on hand to Chris McGrath’s $62,604.
Mike Murphy, spokesman for Senate Democrats, told The Point that the Long Island contests will be “fully funded races, and both sides will be spending similar amounts.”
But at the end of the day, it’s very likely spending won’t matter as much as the turnout driven by the top of the ticket.
De Blasio’s got mail
The NYC press corps has been hammering Mayor Bill de Blasio lately for not providing access to reporters. Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, there’s plenty of interesting access to de Blasio.
Emails from the hacked gmail account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, show how the mayor fawned over the former New York senator even as he withheld his official endorsement.
He asked Podesta what would be “helpful” before speaking publicly about Vice President Joe Biden exploring a presidential run.
He told aides that he’d be meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders in September 2015, and said he planned to tell Sanders that he wouldn’t be supporting the challenger’s campaign. That was more than a month before he endorsed Clinton.
WikiLeaks’ collateral damage to the mayor comes not only from his own words — which depict his stumbles to parlay an endorsement of Clinton into a boost for himself — but also from the dismissive conversations about the mayor from Clinton’s staffers. Campaign manager Robby Mook, for example, called him a “terrorist” after tweets described de Blasio praising Sanders.
The emails also could hurt the mayor in his re-election bid next year as he needs to consolidate his “progressive” base in case of a primary challenge. Tascha Van Auken, a former Sanders delegate from NYC, wrote to The Point that the emails weren’t surprising.
“I guess I see de Blasio as a pretty typical establishment Democrat and HRC always had the establishment on her side,” Van Auken wrote.
Send in the clowns
This year’s late election date
This presidential election has become so painful and dragged on so long, it is beginning to resemble a W.C. Fields routine: “I spent a year arguing over Trump and Clinton one night.”
How maddening is it, then, that the 2016 general election will be held on Nov. 8, the latest possible legal date? And why is Nov. 8 the latest possible date?
According to federal law, the general election must be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This year, Nov. 1 is a Tuesday, so the Tuesday after the first Monday in November is Nov. 8.
This has been the federal law since 1845, before which states did not all hold elections at the same time. The reason it’s set that way is to ensure there are always the same number of days between the election and the meeting of the Electoral College, which is always on the first Wednesday in December.
The fact that elections are never held the day after Halloween, when turnout might be affected by the level of revelry the previous day, is a modern advantage lawmakers likely couldn’t have predicted in the 19th century.