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Bridging The Gap
In his home state, Donald Trump looms large in New York elections
  Tuesday 06 November, 2018
In his home state, Donald Trump looms large in New York elections

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York's Conservative Party's ad made it clear: A vote on its line is a vote for President Donald Trump.

"If Trump infuriating his enemies is music to your ears – and you don't mind making the liberals scream yourself – this November stand with President Trump," the ad says.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's re-election bid has been more focused on Trump's policies than on those of his Republican opponent, Marc Molinaro.

"This election is not about my opponent," Cuomo said at a rally Monday, "because they are only soldiers in the army. This election is about the general of their army because they are just carrying orders for their general and their general is Donald Trump."

In Trump's home state, Republican candidates have either embraced Trump wholeheartedly or trodden lightly with tepid support, while Democrats have made New York's races a referendum on the polarizing president.

The result is an engaged electorate on Election Day in a state where turnout has been among the worst in the nation.

In the state's Democratic primary in September, more than 1.5 million voters turned out for the race between Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon, the "Sex and the City" star.

That's more than twice what it was four years ago.

And the interest showed no signs of slowing. The number of absentee ballots sent out to voters ahead of Tuesday's election was double what it was four years ago, and Democratic enrollment soared between April and November.

In 2010, the turnout in the midterm elections and the gubernatorial race was 44 percent of active voters. Four years later, it was a mere 36 percent.

Turnout is "going to be significantly higher than four years ago. The question is does it get to 45 percent? Does it go higher?" said Steven Greenberg, a spokesman for the Siena College Research Institute.

"The other question in that is: Who are those extra people" who come out to vote, Greenberg asked.

Parsing GOP support

In the gubernatorial, congressional and state legislative races, Trump has loomed large.

Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, has repeatedly said he didn't vote for Trump in 2016 and instead wrote in the name of former Rep. Chris Gibson of the Hudson Valley.

Molinaro knocked Cuomo for trying to make the race about Trump and not Cuomo's own record and the future of the state.

Cuomo "wants this race to be about somebody and something else," Molinaro told the USA TODAY Network's Albany Bureau.

"He’s not running against me, right? He’s running against Donald Trump," Molinaro said. "He doesn’t want his record judged. He wants us to pay attention to Washington.”

Cuomo, a prospective presidential candidate in 2020, contended that Republicans are all part of the same agenda being pushed by Trump – even though Molinaro said he would judge each of Trump's decisions independently.

Repeatedly in their sole debate, Cuomo pressed Molinaro: "Do you support Donald Trump?"

Molinaro struggled to answer, finally saying, "Let's get out of this conversation."

In ads, Cuomo lumped Molinaro and Trump together.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/06/donald-trump-impact-new-york-elections/1900420002/

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