Trump Aims To Win New York, Turning It Into A Key Battleground State

Former President Donald Trump is challenging the status quo in New York, potentially becoming the first Republican presidential candidate in 40 years to win the state. With Democrats struggling to rally behind President Joe Biden following his poor debate performance, Trump is making significant gains in the traditionally Democratic Empire State, which offers 28 electoral votes.

Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President and a Democrat, acknowledged the shifting political landscape. “We’re still acting like this is a one-party state, which for pretty much 20, 25 years it has been,” Levine said to Politico. “I truly believe we’re a battleground state now.”

Biden secured New York by 23 points in the 2020 election. However, Trump saw an increase in his support in New York City, growing from 17.9% in 2016 to 22.6% in 2020, according to Spectrum News. Two recent private polls in a key swing New York House district showed Trump leading Biden by 1 point, indicating a highly competitive race.

Trump is determined to win New York, aiming to be the first Republican to do so since Ronald Reagan in 1984. He held a campaign rally in the South Bronx in late May, focusing on a Democratic stronghold to reduce Biden’s support among voters of color.

“Even if he [Trump] doesn’t win New York and New Jersey, if he comes close, what does that tell you about the rest of the country?” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) told Politico.

A June Siena College poll showed Biden’s lead over Trump had narrowed from 12 points in February to just 8 points. The decline in Biden’s support is attributed to concerns over taxes and crime, with independent voters increasingly leaning toward Republicans.

“We were definitely alarmed at how bad he’s doing statewide,” a union official told Politico.

Basil Smikle, a former executive director for the New York Democratic Party, stressed the need for Biden to strengthen his campaign message in New York. “The [Biden] campaign needs to do a better job of framing the argument that the choice is between a convicted felon and a president who has done a good job,” Smikle said. “It’s alarming they have to do this in New York, a progressive state with a progressive history.”

Democrat leaders, union officials, and political consultants are urging Biden’s campaign to invest resources in New York. However, former New York Gov. David Paterson warned that such efforts could detract from other critical areas. “The money that needs to be spent here will be subtracted from other areas he’s going to lose,” Paterson told Politico.

Control of the House is at stake, especially in battleground districts in the Hudson Valley and Long Island. Former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran advised, “If I’m a Democrat in some of these suburban races, I’d run the hell away from Joe Biden.”

Trump’s increasing support in New York signals a potential shift in the state’s political dynamics, making it a crucial battleground in the upcoming presidential election. The GOP nominee’s efforts highlight the growing competitiveness of the state, challenging the long-held Democratic dominance.