Is New York in play?


President Joe Biden leads former President Donald Trump in New York State just 46 percent to 36 percent, below the 50 percent mark for the 2024 presidential election, according to the latest Siena poll taken Nov. 12 to Nov. 15.

In the poll for the two-way race, Biden’s support appears to be withering, with only 70 percent of Democrats supporting his reelection bid. 12 percent of Democrats support Trump, as do 87 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of independents. Biden garners just 36 percent of independents. Remarkably, 12 percent of independents said they wouldn’t vote, and 14 percent said they didn’t know or refused to answer.

Catastrophically for Biden and Democrats, the President only has 64 percent support from Blacks and 52 percent from Latinos in the two-way race, with Trump getting 13 percent of Blacks and 25 percent of Latinos. 

In a four-way race between Biden, Trump, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Cornell West, Biden’s support in New York drops to just 37 percent. Trump also loses support, dropping to 28 percent, Kennedy gets 18 percent and West gets 5 percent.

Then, Biden’s numbers among minorities worsens dramatically, only getting 51 percent of Blacks and 36 percent of Latinos, with Trump getting 5 percent of Blacks and 23 percent of Latinos, Kennedy getting 19 percent of Blacks and 18 percent of Latinos and West getting 6 percent of Blacks and 13 percent of Latinos.

Is New York in play in 2024?

It certainly would be hard to believe. In 2016, Trump lost New York to Hillary Clinton by 1.7 million votes, 59 percent to 36 percent, and in 2020 Trump lost the state to Biden by 2 million votes, 61 percent to 38 percent. 

By that measure, Biden should be ahead by more than 20 points, even in the two-way race. It should be a landslide for Biden, but it isn’t. That’s how you know something is going on.

It’s a state where in order for a Republican to win, he or she needs almost all Republicans and the vast majority of independents, and even then, needs some Democrats to even have a chance of winning.

In 2022, former U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) performed well above expectations against New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, garnering 46.8 percent of the vote to Hochul’s 53.2 percent. Although he lost, Zeldin did so well in the election that Republicans ended up picking up three Congressional seats there in the midterms.

It’s fair to say that if Zeldin and Republicans had not done as well as they did in New York running against the escalation of violent crime in the state and in New York City, which impacted the national race, and the GOP might not have the slim House majority it has today.

That’s not to say that Biden is absolutely in danger of losing the state to Trump, who still has a ways to go, but the state is still very much in play, if for nothing else, because Biden’s underperformance in the Empire State could also help Republicans keep the Congressional seats Republicans picked up in 2022 and without which, it could be very difficult for Republicans to keep the House in 2024.

The other side of that is it’s still about a year away from the election, and while Biden could mount a major comeback, it could also be the case that his prospects worsen hereon in, not just in New York, but everywhere.

When the breakup of Biden’s Democratic coalition reaches New York State, you know something is happening that’s very important. As usual, stay tuned.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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