I guess I’ve been sort of putting this race out of my mind thinking ‘Nah, that can’t actually happpen.’ But as Beege pointed out last night, if you saw the debate or if you’ve seen how crime is playing in New York right now and how Lee Zeldin is focusing like a laser beam on that issue, you’d have to say nothing is going Kathy Hochul’s way. Yesterday the NY Times confirmed that Democrats really are frantic to keep Hochul from sinking.
With just 12 days until Election Day, Democrats and their allies are mounting a frenzied push to keep Ms. Hochul in office, pouring millions of dollars into last-minute ads and staging a whirlwind of campaign rallies to energize their base amid concerns that their typically reliable bedrock of Black and Latino voters might not turn out.
Labor unions have gone into overdrive, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on television and radio ads to cajole those voters to turn up for Ms. Hochul. On the ground, Ms. Hochul is expected to campaign with Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a party power broker whose Brooklyn district provides crucial votes for the Democratic base, as well as in southeast Queens with Mayor Eric Adams over the weekend.
The Hochul campaign has even turned to its former adversaries for help, including progressive lawmakers who opposed her during the Democratic primary in June, and the left-leaning Working Families Party, which called for an “emergency all-hands-on-deck meeting” of its leadership earlier this week to mobilize in favor of Ms. Hochul…
“I know that some of us have deep policy disagreements with Kathy Hochul — that’s why we endorsed Jumaane in the primary — but a Zeldin administration would be entirely destructive to our agenda,” Sochie Nnaemeka, the [WFP] party’s director in New York, wrote in the email, which was obtained by The New York Times.
The strategy is pretty simple. Run up the far left vote in New York City to offset Zeldin’s strength upstate. Getting particular attention right now are black voters and Hispanic voters. A union for hotel workers just announced it will spend $250,000 running ads in Spanish: “A voice-over in Spanish tells viewers that Ms. Hochul, who is white and of Irish descent, is ‘one of us.’”
Yeah, sure she is. Just don’t expect her to clean any hotel rooms. Hochul will also be attending events at black churches with NY AG Letitia James. They are also bringing in the big guns including Hillary Clinton as a surprise guest.
Hochul is planning a get out the vote “Women’s Rally” at the women’s college Barnard in Upper Manhattan 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3. A flier reviewed by City & State promotes appearances from Democratic heavyweights including Attorney General Letitia James, Rep. Nydia Velázquez and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Clinton was left off the ad, but City & State has learned that the former Secretary of State is expected to be a surprise guest.
But despite all this last minute activity, Politico reports people inside and outside the campaign are worried.
…less than two weeks before Election Day — and just two days before early voting begins — Hochul has a problem.
Street corner volunteers and direct mail are lacking in high-turnout neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, despite $30.5 million in statewide ad buys. Many of the city’s most prominent Democratic politicians are missing from the campaign trail. And inside her operation, staffers and supporters are growing concerned that she has not made deep enough inroads with consistent Democratic voters, according to interviews with eight people involved in or closely supporting Hochul’s campaign…
…some of Hochul’s own staff and allies are privately expressing frustration with what they describe as a well-funded campaign focused too much on TV ads at the expense of building relationships with New York City community leaders.
The aides and surrogates — who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss Hochul’s strategy — questioned why she is so focused on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade when crime consistently ranks as a top issue for city voters. Zeldin, a Long Island congressman, has made crime his top campaign issue, and polls suggest the strategy is working — putting him within striking distance of the governor in a race long thought to be a sleeper.
“There is massive frustration. People are complaining they don’t have any [literature]. Where are the posters?” one aide said in an interview. “I think it’s going to be a depressed turnout because there’s no excitement.”
Honestly, it’s still hard for me to believe this could happen, but the fact that so many Democrats are in a last minute frenzy tells me they are genuinely worried it might. As with other Democrats across the country, Kathy Hochul has been focused on the wrong issues while Lee Zeldin stays focused on what voters actually care about.
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