A few weeks ago, RealClearPolitics declared that Texas, of all places, had become a toss-up state for the 2016 presidential races. While that's not the case at the time of writing, in many ways, the craziness of 2016 has rewritten the traditional red-blue map. So, there's something oddly comforting that a few political cliches are still as true. One example? New York will go to Hillary Clinton in 2016, remaining every bit as blue as it has for decades. Recent polling of New Yorkers has placed her ahead of Donald Trump by as many as 25 percentage points.
While this is to be expected in a traditionally blue state, it may, apparently, come as a surprise to native New Yorker Trump. As recently as September, he bragged to crowds that he would "play so hard and win" in the Empire State. Trump's probable loss is all the more embarrassing considering that no candidate has won the presidency without his home state ("home state" meaning place of primary adult residence) since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
Clinton's predicted success in the Empire State is is unsurprising, given that she was previously elected to two terms representing New York in the Senate. Moreover, Clinton was a popular senator amongst her constituents; in her 2006 senate reelection bid, she won 67 percent of the vote.
New York's in-state politics, however, tend to be less predictable. New York City and its surrounding area tend to skew extremely liberal, but a large part of the upstate region more closely resembles the rust belt politics of rural Pennsylvania or Ohio. Nor are New York Republicans necessarily more moderate than GOPers elsewhere. In one extreme example, Joe Errigo, a Republican candidate for assemblyman, made headlines for implying that President Obama was somehow trying to instigate violent racial conflict:
I think the president has done a disservice and I don’t condone. I hear the way he talks sometimes that just — they’re telling the black people, ‘Get out there, kill them. Kill the whites.'
After an explosion of outrage from assembly Democrats, Errigo apologized for his remarks, saying "I certainly do not believe that President Obama is directly encouraging attacks on law enforcement nor encouraging divisive actions."
Whether or not Errigo is elected, the New York State assembly will likely remain in Democratic control; however, the state senate is expected to be hotly contested. As of October 2016, there were 31 Democrats, 31 Republicans, and one vacancy, and all senate seats are up for reelection.
However, despite the comparative fireworks — and occasional offensive comments — emerging from local elections, New York is as poised to hand another electoral victory to Clinton. There's a nice symmetry to it. In 1848, the first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York; in 2016, the state will likely hand its electoral votes to the woman who may be America's first female president.