“It Doesn’t Look Like Good Turf For The Democrats”: Upstate NY’s 2016 Landscape

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Fred Akshar's supporters celebrated Tuesday as he claimed victory in the 52nd district state senate race.

The Southern Tier’s special state senate election went Republican in a landslide Tuesday night. Fred Akshar beat Democrat Barbara Fiala by about 56 percentage points. Today political theorists are wondering what that means for next year’s presidential race and other local contests.

“West of the Capital district all the way to Western New York, it doesn’t look like good turf for the Democrats next year,” said Bruce Gyory, senior advisor at the law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, speaking on the public radio program Capitol Pressroom.

However, Gyory said things look better for Democrats down in Long Island and Nassau county. He thinks the real key will be who’s running for president next year.

“What does the presidential race look like? Is it Mrs. Clinton versus a strong Republican opponent who has some cachet in New York and resonance in New York?” Or, he says, is it a tea party conservative whose presence could damage Republicans in local races? Gyory didn’t offer an answer to that question.

He said turnout for Tuesday’s election was low but not unusual for an off year.

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