Republicans’ hopes of whittling down Democrats’ advantage in the state Senate have been dashed, as absentee votes put incumbents ahead in several competitive races.
New York Democrats now lead in 39 races as the counting of mail-in ballots continues. The party now expects to at least match the 40 seats it currently holds, if not gain a seat or two.
The numbers could be of concern to landlords fighting tenant-friendly legislation in Albany following last year’s landmark rent-law change.
However, the Democrats overcoming GOP leads in state Senate races are moderates who could prove to be an ally for real estate by keeping the Senate majority from being dominated by left-leaning members. That might keep measures that cancel rent or severely limit evictions from passing, but with Republicans remaining marginalized in the upper chamber, the tenant-friendly rent-stabilization law likely will not be changed much, if at all.
Passage of a pied-à-terre tax also remains up in the air.
The absentee ballot count in favor of Democratic candidates echoes a trend in the federal election, which saw strong in-person turnout for President Donald Trump more than offset by mailed ballots supporting Joe Biden.
Like Trump, Republicans in New York also drew solid numbers on voting day, but the leads by Senate candidates in a number of swing districts proved to be fleeting.
“We knew that this red mirage would turn out to be a blue ocean,” New York State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs told the Wall Street Journal.
[WSJ] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan