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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

How the GOP Secured Victory in Nassau County Elections, Despite Being Outnumbered

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By:  Benyamin Davidsons

The elections in Long Island and Nassau County last Tuesday delivered an overwhelming victory to Republicans.  Logically, being that Democratic voters outnumber the Republicans, it seems difficult to understand.

As reported by the NY Times, it was the soaring taxes, distaste for defunding the police and the notorious bail reform laws which propelled the stunning upset.  There was another thing too though, which led Democrats to vote for the GOP ticket.  “I don’t like the president, and the Democrats are spending too much money on things like infrastructure, when really we need politicians who are going to bring more money back into this country,” said Ms. Sonsini of Great Neck, a Democrat who voted against her party. “Maybe if Democrats see how we’re voting in these local elections, they will see we’re not happy with the way things are going.”

In Nassau County, where registered Democrats outnumber their opponents by roughly 100,000, Democrat Laura Curran, who served as county executive since 2018, lagged behind Republican Bruce Blakeman by over four percentage points. Republican Anne Donnelly won the district attorney post with a 20-point lead over Todd Kaminsky, who supported the bail reform bill.  The DA position had repeatedly been held by Democrats since 2006.  Republican Elaine Phillips also replaced the outgoing Democratic county comptroller.  In the County Legislature, Mazi Melesa Pilip beat Democratic incumbent, Ellen Birnbaum, by over 15 points.

Nassau county has over a million registered voters, with 264,000 people who cast their votes, mostly for Republican candidates. “It’s almost like we’re back temporarily to the ’60s and ’70s,” said Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, referring to a time when Republicans ruled Nassau County. “The real question is how long this will last.”

The surprising results weren’t just in Nassau county, but all across the country- particularly suburban communities, like in Virginia and New Jersey.  It was a Republican tide, similar to the blue wave experienced four years ago when President Donald Trump was voted into Presidency and the Democrats retaliated in the local elections.  This year, with Biden as President, it was the opposite.

“What happened in Nassau County happened in lots of places — Suffolk County, upstate New York, Virginia, New Jersey,” said Jay Jacobs, the chair of the Nassau County and state Democrats. “What happened was Republican voters overperformed dramatically and Democratic voters underperformed.”



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