An article in today’s New York Times paints a dim picture of Republican prospects up and down the ticket this cycle.
With the Republican State Convention approaching, the party is plagued by infighting, short of money and struggling to assemble a competitive slate of statewide candidates for the fall, leaving many party leaders worried that they are poorly positioned to exploit what might be the most favorable political climate for New York Republicans in years.
At the top of the ticket, the GOP’s most viable candidate is all but invisible, eclipsed by Paladino’s racist emails, and a media-grabbing challenge by a former Democrat with a history of anti-immigrant rhetoric. High profile candidates have taken a pass at challenging Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and a Republican has yet to announce for the AG race.
The situation has party leaders and potential candidates all expressing dismay at the state of the party’s political bench, all the way down to the State Senate:
“I’m just disappointed at the inability to attract top-level candidates in some of the statewide and Congressional and State Senate races,” said Henry F. Wojtaszek, a former chairman of the Niagara County party who lost a bid for state chairman to Mr. Cox last fall.
Elizabeth N. Feld, former mayor of the Westchester village of Larchmont, ran a spirited race in 2008 against the local Democratic state senator, but decided against a rematch this year.
“A lot of Republicans who might have run for office this year said, ‘I don’t have faith in this leadership,’ ” Ms. Feld said.
This is another piece in a string of bad news for Senate Republicans’ political prospects. Unmentioned in the piece are the retirements of two Republican Senators – Dale Volker and Vincent Leibell. In both races, it looks as if a bruising primary season is in store for Republican candidates. A recent Quinnipiac Poll showed greater dissatisfaction and anti-incumbent sentiment among Republican base voters than among Democrats, and a NYPIRG study of voter enrollment data showing gains for Democrats in 51 of the Senate’s 62 districts.
By contrast, Senate Democrats already have challengers announced in half a dozen races, and will bring the fight to many more Republican incumbents this cycle.