(UnitedVoice.com) – To win an election, political consultants and campaign managers focus intently on ensuring that their registered voters show up to the polls. It’s just assumed in campaigns that if you’re a Democrat, you’ll most likely vote for a Democratic candidate, and vice versa for Republicans. However, what if conventional thinking is wrong? Especially in the age of COVID-19.
New York City (NYC) could be going through such a shift. In the 1970s and 1980s, crime and trash riddled the Big Apple. Republican Mayor Rudy Guiliani was elected in 1994 to clean up the mess, and he did just that. Successive Republican Mayor Micheal Bloomberg continued many of Guiliani’s policies, and New York City prospered. However, in 2013 city residents abandoned the GOP for far-left Democrat Bill de Blasio. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some residents became so fed up with how the city’s handling the crisis, that even though they are Democrats, they abandoned the party.
Voters Shift Party Loyalty
According to an analysis of the 2020 election conducted by Fox News, something happened that wasn’t supposed to happen. After labeling Trump a racist xenophobe and blaming him for COVID-19, the former President picked up votes in NYC. You read that right. Trump added votes in the bluest-of-blue community. In fact, he increased votes by 4.6% over 2016 for a gain of nearly 200,000 NYC residents. Joe Biden lost 3% of voters compared to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 numbers.
So, why the shift for some residents? Some expressed disillusionment over de Blasio’s response to COVID-19. Piles of trash built up across the city that created unsanitary and unhealthy living conditions. New York’s governor and mayors shut down small businesses and restaurants and destroyed many livelihoods. On top of that, the city council heavily defunded the police, and violent crime spiked.
It’s Not Just COVID-19
It’s not safe to assume that COVID-19 was the only reason for the shift. In 2018, an unknown Bronx Socialist Democratic candidate for Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, defeated longtime incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary. Crowley was the 3rd highest-ranking Democrat in Congress at the time. That moment launched a new socialist movement.
Some moderate Democrats in NYC are beginning to express concern about the rise of socialism in their city. Socialists are becoming powerful enough that some voters may be feeling like they don’t have a home in a political party any longer. They aren’t socialist Democrats, but they aren’t Republicans either unless the GOP can show them how they fit in.
Combine that with the scandals surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It may not be shocking that change could be coming to New York. Voters won’t tolerate failed liberal policies that hurt people for long. They didn’t in the 1990s, and now, some voters may be reversing course once again. However, it’s difficult to know if this is a trend or a one-off thing.
Is America Waking Up?
Is deep-blue New York alone? In California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a recall election late this summer over his pandemic response. Admittedly, he’s worried. However, he could still win among hard-core Democrats who deliver a pushback against moderates and Republicans. Otherwise, it appears that things are status quo in much of the Democratic strongholds across the country.
And yet, as Democrats cement themselves as the party of election devastation, open borders, defunding the police, and court-packing, anything can happen. Only time will tell.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
Copyright 2021, UnitedVoice.com