New York in play as 'battleground state' after decades of Democrat dominance

"We're still acting like this is a one-party state," Democratic Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine warned. "I truly believe we're a battleground state now."

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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New York has essentially been a blue state for the past two decades, however in recent weeks it has become clear that this election season, it is in play for Republicans. Four years after Joe Biden bested Donald Trump there by 23 points in polling, polls have shown that the gap is narrowing following Biden's miserable debate performanc.

Many Democratic allies of the president in the state have voiced their concerns about the possibility their party may lose ground. Few, however, have called on Biden to step down, with the most prominent politicians making it clear they still plan on backing him come November.

As Politico reports, a number of Democratic Party officials past and present have called on Biden to accept that New York is not as secure as it was during the last election, and spend more of his time and money there. While Biden was recently in the Hamptons for a private fundraiser, he has been urged to try and connect with everyday voters, as Trump did when he held a massive rally in the Bronx. On the night Trump attended a wake for a fallen NYPD officer, Biden partied at a tony, celeb-studded fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall.

A Siena College poll conducted prior to the debate revealed that in New York, Biden's lead over Trump has narrowed to just 8 percent. It found that 85 percent of Republicans supported Trump, while around 75 percent of Democrats said they'd back Biden. Among independents, however, the former president had nearly double the support of his successor, at 45 and 28 percent, respectively.

"The last time the presidential election was as close as it is now in New York was 1988 when Democrat Michael Dukakis beat Republican George H.W. Bush by only four points, 52-48 percent," pollster Steven Greenberg explained, noting that, "Ronald Reagan was the last Republican to carry New York – by eight points, 54-46 percent – in 1984."

Nonetheless, state Democratic Party Spokesperson Jen Goodman maintained that Biden would emerge victorious simply because of who the other candidate is. "Time and again New Yorkers have rejected Donald Trump," she said. "He's the most unpopular person in New York politics, and there is no doubt that voters will once again turn out for President Biden in November."

Not everyone was as optimistic, however. "We're still acting like this is a one-party state, which for pretty much 20-25 years it has been," Democratic Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine warned. "I truly believe we're a battleground state now."

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