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Commentary

Trump slumps – except in the 27th District

Robert J. McCarthy

The pollsters over at Siena College in Loudonville continue to churn out a slew of fascinating statistics.

Take their latest New York State matchup between President Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. No surprise – Biden trounces Trump 65% to 29%. And no surprise either that Biden has increased his lead from the March poll, which favored him 58% to 33%.

After all, this is ultra-Democratic New York.

But don’t raise any Trump doubts with the Republican contestants in the 27th Congressional District who face the voters on June 23. Some background: Chris Jacobs takes on Beth Parlato and Stefan Mychajliw in a GOP primary that day for the right to face Democrat Nate McMurray in the Nov. 3 general election. But Albany in its infinite wisdom has slated a special election the same day between Republican Jacobs and Democrat McMurray to fill the vacancy created by the Chris Collins resignation (the Politics Column is mandated by rules of common decency to each week at least attempt an explanation of our muddied electoral situation).

Now, Republicans competing in the 27th continue to embrace the embattled president, statewide poll or no statewide poll. Parlato’s new TV ads prominently feature Trump saluting soldiers and her promise of support (even though Jacobs snared Trump’s “Complete Endorsement” in a presidential tweet).

Jacobs is in line too. “We need leaders in Congress who will work with President Trump to hold China accountable,” he said last week on Facebook. “That is why I am asking for your vote on June 23rd.”

Mychajliw’s website, meanwhile, proclaims that Trump cannot “drain the swamp in Washington” alone.

“We need uncompromising conservatives to stand with him to Keep America Great by fighting for a secure border, fair trade policies, and economic solutions that continue record-setting results,” Mychajliw says.

Trump is experiencing a rough few days as poll after poll shows him slipping. The Washington Post reported last week that he blew up at his own pollsters when they showed him their internal bad news.

But not in New York’s 27th Congressional District. It is the truest Republican district in the state, and the bet here is that the GOP contestants’ own polling paves their pro-Trump path. The further bet is that we have not even begun to hear the Republican contestants trumpet their loyalty to the president. If not – Trump is in real trouble.

• • •

A few more items from the campaign trail:

• Siena also reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is basking in record high favorability ratings of 77%, up from 71% in March and matching his highest ever in February 2011. By a 78% to 16% tally, voters say they trust Cuomo over Trump to determine when New York reopens for business.

• In the 26th Congressional District, businessman Eddie Egriu’s challenge to incumbent Democrat Brian Higgins has been nixed by State Supreme Court Justice Dennis Ward due to an error on his petitions’ cover sheet. Egriu, who has had trouble making the ballot in a slew of attempts, says he will appeal.

• In the 149th Assembly District, former Niagara Council Member Robert Quintana scored a victory last week when his petitions were validated by Justice Emilio Colaiacovo. But sources say endorsed Democrat Jonathan Rivera is expected to seek an Appellate Division reversal in the Democratic primary that also features Adam Bojak.

• Even former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has joined the parade. After the state Board of Elections last week cancelled the Democratic presidential primary that had been slated for June 23 because only Biden remained in the field, Yang went to court demanding the election proceed.

He said the ruling “fundamentally denies” New York Democrats “the right to choose our next candidate for the office of president of the United States.”

Now board co-chairman Douglas Kellner seeks a speedy ruling to avoid a Wisconsin-like scene of voters in long lines exposed to Covid-19.

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