Nationwide, the election results at this point appear to be a clear repudiation of President Trump, of the reactionary recklessness, casual cruelty and debilitating dishonesty that stain his character, overshadowing any decent policies that manage to find their way out of his administration.
This is made clear in the way the Republicans appear to have held onto their slim Senate majority — long-embattled Sen. Susan Collins, who at times openly defied Trump, won, in a surprise to most analysts — and actually made gains in the House. A number of GOP candidates nationwide, including a relatively strong contingent of women, won their seats not thanks to the presidents’ coattails, but despite them.
In this as in so much else, Trump stands alone among recent presidents. And if the latest numbers hold up, he will stand nearly alone in being one of just a handful who were denied a second term in office.
Here in New York State, the dynamic played out similarly. While Trump lost by double digits, as expected, Republicans crushed Democrats’ dreams of a supermajority in the state Senate, appearing to take back several seats they had lost just two years ago. Among the victories were Vito Bruno’s defeat of Sen. Andrew Gounardes in Brooklyn and Alexis Weik’s win over Sen. Monica Martinez on Long Island. In both cases, Republican ads highlighting the Democrats’ disastrous no-bail law from last year were used to devastating effect. Even veteran northeast Queens state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein may have lost, to first-time candidate John-Alexander Sakelos.
And in cases where incumbent Democrats did win, they often had less support than before. In South Queens, longtime state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato won re-election by fairly comfortable margins, but 10 percentage points less comfortable than the last time around.
It’s clear that in much of Queens and nearby areas in and out of the city, the get-out-of-jail-free philosophy, other radical ideas and the socialism that so often goes with them don’t fly. (Certainly in some places, from Astoria to Far Rockaway, they do.) But even as they rejoice in Trump’s apparent loss, Democrats here should realize they need to act in moderation too.