Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- Two races are extra special
- Porn-watching down, voting goes up?
- Environmentalists’ endorsements come with a twist
Up ballot, down ballot
The popular guessing game among Long Island’s political class is gauging how the top of the ticket — Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump — will influence down-ballot races. But in some quarters of Nassau County, there is chatter about how the bottom of the ticket will influence the middle.
The sudden death last month of Judy Jacobs, the county legislator from the 16th District, opened up a contest to fill the remaining year of her term. Jacobs usually won her district with more than 60 percent of the vote, and local Dems are contemplating a message that would honor or remember her: By staying on the Democratic line to the end of the ballot, voters will find the party’s nominee, Arnold Drucker.
Dems hope that could entice more voters to stay on the line into two very hot races: Jack Martins vs. Tom Suozzi in the 3rd Congressional District and Carl Marcellino vs. Jim Gaughran in the 5th State Senate District.
Conversely, Dems worry that the race to elect someone to fill Anthony Santino’s seat on the Hempstead Town Board after the popular Republican became town supervisor will keep more Republicans on the line to the end to vote for the GOP’s Anthony D’Esposito, who was appointed to the seat.
That GOP get-out-the-vote effort could hurt Democrat Todd Kaminsky, who is running for his first full term in the 9th State Senate District after defeating the GOP’s Chris McGrath by 886 votes in a special election in April.
Porn Point (yes, you read that right)
The porn-watching voting bloc
New York City’s much-touted LinkNYC kiosks were meant to replace public telephones by offering free Wi-Fi, tablet browsing and calls. But predictably, New Yorkers mostly liked standing in front of them and watching music videos on repeat. Some reportedly managed to find porn. Last month, the company operating the kiosks shut all tablet-based Web browsing after complaints.
But the kiosks have a new capability announced this week: helping viewers register to vote. Will civic duty be as big a draw as free porn?
Actually, it’s not such a far-fetched connection. The ever-entrepreneurial website Pornhub recently announced that during the Sept. 26 presidential debate traffic to its website “fell as much as 16% compared to an average Monday in this time period.” The site often tracks porn-viewing fluctuations during live events and sometimes finds similar dips — during the Euro 2016 soccer final in July and the NBA Finals Game 7 in June, for example.
America’s voting populace seems to be similarly inclined.
Making a Point
Conservation league holds off
The New York League of Conservation Voters announced its Long Island endorsements for this fall and two contests were conspicuous by their absence — the 1st and 3rd Congressional District races.
The league will announce in the next few days its preference in the CD3 race between Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Jack Martins, both of whom have solid environmental credentials.
In CD1, the group is waiting to gather more information from its forum on Oct. 18 between Democrat Anna Throne-Holst and Republican incumbent Lee Zeldin. Throne-Holst has a strong environmental record and Zeldin has been good on local issues. But his national rating, based on votes in Congress, is only 14 out of 100. On the other hand, only 19 of 247 Republicans in the House scored higher. And Zeldin’s national record probably won’t be a factor in the league’s endorsement, where local matters hold sway.
Another interesting tidbit: The New York League of Conservation Voters so far has endorsed only 14 Republicans in the entire state, nine of whom are on Long Island. Now, it is true that environmental concerns are relatively bipartisan down here. But, given that the league also endorsed in only 16 of Long Island’s 31 state legislative races, could the lack of competitive candidates on the Democratic side in particular also be tying the league’s hands?