New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said Monday he doesn’t expect President Donald Trump to win New York in this year’s election, but that his name on the ballot will help candidates down-ballot in several key swing districts around the state.
Langworthy made the comments after filing papers with the state Board of Elections in Albany for Trump to officially run for reelection in New York, which he lost in 2016.
“I don’t think New York is one of the first states to break. Obviously we’re pretty dark blue,” Langworth said.
“But in places where we’re running competitive races around the state — for Congress, for State Senate for state Assembly — those are all areas where President Trump performed extremely well in 2016, and he’s going to do it again in 2020,” he continued.
Langworthy was responding to a poll released earlier Monday from the Siena Research Institute, which said that Trump was projected to lose in a head-to-head match in New York with any of top Democrats running for president this year.
The poll placed Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-V.T., at the head of the pack, with 25% of registered Democrats polled saying they planned to vote for him in this year’s primary. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was close behind, with 21% of the vote from respondents.
Langworthy predicted that if Sanders was the Democratic nominee this year, his support for democratic socialism would kill the party’s chances to hold on to crucial swing districts, and gain ground on others.
“These are areas where people are not socialists,” Langworthy said. “They don't subscribe to the [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] brand of politics. You’re going to see a huge rejection at the polls this November of that down ballot.”
While it’s unclear how Sanders would affect down-ballot races, his place at the top of the ticket likely won’t change the outcome of the presidential election in New York. The poll from Siena showed him leading Trump 56-38 in the general election among registered voters.
Langworthy said he wasn’t sure if Trump would be coming to New York to campaign for Republican candidates in swing districts, but that he was hopeful the president would make an appearance.
“I hope. I don’t know for sure — obviously time will tell on that, but we would certainly welcome him with open arms and would love to have him campaign for our candidates,” Langworthy said.
There are a handful of competitive districts in New York in this year’s election that could go to either party, including the 19th Congressional District in the Hudson Valley and the 22nd Congressional District in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier.
Those districts are currently held, respectively, by Rep. Antonio Delgado and Rep. Anthony Brindisi, both Democrats. Both districts were also carried by Trump in the 2016 election, and were held by Republicans prior to the 2018 election.
On Staten Island, Republicans are also trying to take back the 11th Congressional District, which is currently held by Rep. Max Rose. He won the seat over former Rep. Dan Donovan, a Republican who held the seat for two terms.
At the state level, Republicans are running this year to take back the majority in the State Senate, but that won’t be easy. Democrats currently have a nine-seat majority, and several incumbent Republicans have said they won’t run again this year.