To the dismay of many New York conservatives, incumbent Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul defeated Republican challenger Lee Zeldin in the midterm contest. But underneath the disappointing loss is a gubernatorial comeback story and a spate of down-ballot GOP candidates who made a bigger red splash in the Empire State than many other candidates were able to pull off around the country.
With 94 percent of the vote tallied, Zeldin trails Hochul by a little over 300,000 votes or 5.6 percentage points. And while this might seem like a lot, especially compared to swing states, in the 2018 New York gubernatorial race, Democrat incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo beat Republican candidate Marc Molinaro by a landslide — more than 1.4 million votes and a whopping 23.4 points.
What’s more, Zeldin picked up hundreds of thousands of additional votes from deep-blue New York City’s five boroughs, mostly Queens and Brooklyn, compared to Molinaro — securing about 200,000 more votes in the Big Apple than the 2018 candidate did. Meanwhile, Hochul received more than half a million fewer votes in NYC than Cuomo did four years ago.
New Yorkers’ red fervor extended further than the governor’s race, though, with voters successfully flipping multiple congressional districts for Republicans. George Santos won NY-3 against Democrat Robert Zimmerman, a seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi. Republican Anthony D’Esposito beat out Democrat Laura Gillen, flipping NY-4 red. And NY-17 went for Republican Mike Lawler, who beat out five-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Patrick Maloney — the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what motivated New Yorkers to vote for Republican candidates, especially considering the exodus of conservatives from the state for freer areas such as Florida during New York’s devasting lockdowns under then-Gov. Cuomo. But it’s undeniable that Democrats’ left-wing policies have wreaked havoc on the northeast state.
As a result of New York’s cashless bail, for instance, criminals have been freed to commit more acts of violence, including even murder. Within the past month alone, two murders made headlines after the alleged perpetrators were released from jail under this radical bail reform and then proceeded to commit deadly crimes.
Rewind to the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when, as The Federalist reported, a “New York state order handed down by Cuomo and his health department ordered nursing homes to accept recovering coronavirus patients despite the risk to other residents,” contributing to the thousands of senseless Covid nursing home deaths that were drastically underreported.
Then thanks to mask and Covid jab mandates across the state, at least 1,400 New York hospital workers — and possibly many more — were fired for refusing the shot. Schools were also forced into long-term draconian lockdowns, with children being robbed of irreplaceable in-person learning and thus experiencing massive learning loss. The Nation’s Report Card showed New York ranking near the bottom in terms of public school fourth-graders’ reading level, dropping a whopping 6 points in 2022 compared to 2019 and coming in more than 20 points short of “proficient.”
Add to skyrocketing crime, safety concerns, devastating lockdowns, and heavy-handed mandates the fact that record gas and grocery prices are making everyday life unsustainable for many Americans, New Yorkers apparently realized voting for Democrats is not the answer to these Democrat-induced problems.
Seeing these House seat wins for Republicans and recognizing Zeldin’s narrow margins, especially in comparison to the 2018 election, there is reason to celebrate what happened in New York this week. Hopefully, the longer Hochul attempts to turn the Empire State into a Democrat utopia, the more people will wake up and realize what a dystopian disaster it actually is — and keep voting red.