Elections have consequences, but some of those consequences can have a strange and intriguing afterlife. Take the results of a new poll from Siena on Governor Hochul.
She won her election last month by a relatively narrow margin of just under six points, but now trails her defeated Republican opponent in a favor contest. According to the Siena survey, Hochul is 45% in favor with 43% unfavorable, while Lee Zeldin is 46%-32%.
That’s an 18-point swing for Zeldin, which was at 37%-41% before the election.
The results are a consolation prize for the Long Island congressman and reflect how he dictated the campaign agenda while Hochul hid in the governor’s mansion until the final days. As such, the findings are a serious warning to her.
The reason for Hochul’s lackluster performance now is the same reason she almost became the first Democrat to lose a statewide election in 20 years: crime or, more specifically, her inability to make it big -thing about it.
She won due to her party’s registration advantage of more than 2-1, but many voters, including some Democrats, clearly believe she was a bystander in a killing spree in most of the cities and they are worried about the growing disorder almost everywhere.
His inaction on crime helps explain why Republicans won four seats in New York, which was essential to securing a majority in Congress.
In assessing the governor’s position, Siena’s poll takes an ingenious approach by asking voters if she has made progress in six areas she promised to focus on a year ago. Here’s how pollster Steven Greenberg described the response: “Today. . . voters give a resounding “no”. A majority or a strong plurality say that they have not made progress on any of them.
Less than a third, he added, believe she has made progress on one of the six, which included, in addition to public safety, building trust in Albany and transforming the state into a place where people want to live, not leave.
Yet many of those same people voted for her. Go figure.
Hochul’s perceived weakness as she enters her first full term could have huge implications for taxpayers across the state and could embarrass Mayor Adams as he enters his second year in city hall.
On the one hand, the far-left legislature has no reason to fear her, with the result that she will have the least say in the budget process of any governor lately. Even though Hochul was inclined to veto new taxes, spending and other key laws, Democratic lawmakers enjoy unvetoed majorities in both chambers.
Adams’ ‘rookie’ mistakes
For Adams, the situation underscores how he missed his best chance to get help from Hochul on the crime during the campaign, when she was vulnerable and needed his support. Now, she would struggle to provide the metrics Adams wants, although she agrees they are necessary.
Crime, of course, was the major issue that propelled Adams to victory a year ago and, while murders and shootings are down 11% and 16% respectively this year, violence and disorder remain l public enemy number one for most New Yorkers.
When elected, Adams jubilantly swore he would show America how to run a city. Perhaps sobered by the struggles, he recently declared 2022 his “rookie year” and promised more results soon.
If 2023 is really going to mark a big improvement, Adams will have to stay relentlessly focused on crime, including things like fare overruns and shoplifting. He often seems to take his eyes off the ball, as with his embrace of an influx of border migrants.
He also seems reluctant to use the perseverance needed to get results. For example, neither Albany nor Washington has helped with the cost of the migrants, but the mayor hasn’t raised the issue lately.
And when Hochul and lawmakers refused to make necessary changes to bail laws and other criminal justice measures that free dangerous people, he finally gave up and accepted the cold shoulder.
In all fairness, he might have been wary of recreating the ongoing war between his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, and Hochul, Andrew Cuomo. But being a gentleman didn’t get him a better result. He needs to stop taking no for an answer.
His Albany program this year will feature a critical new measure, which gives Hochul and lawmakers a second chance to help make Gotham safe again. The problem is the forced hospitalization of mentally ill homeless people, all of whom are a danger to themselves and some who have committed violent crimes.
The mayor’s plan is a series of common-sense measures that reflect the growing awareness that current laws have created a revolving door where the mentally ill are taken off the streets for treatment and then released within days, so that the cycle repeats itself after more violence.
Naturally, the far left is already lining up to oppose the mayor, saying the mentally ill homeless have a right to live on the streets. Radicals frame their argument in terms of compassion and civil liberties, but many homeless people are simply unable to care for themselves.
And how compassionate is it to leave them outside in the winter in New York?
Again, the mayor is on the right side of the issue, but that’s no guarantee. Indeed, if 2022 has taught New Yorkers anything, it’s that being right doesn’t count for squatting in Albany.
Power is all that matters. And right now, Adams doesn’t have much.
Bunk bed Title 42
With America already suffering from more than 5 million illegal border crossings under Joe Biden, the federal government is on the verge of losing a valuable tool of control in the age of the pandemic. Title 42 allows migrants to be deported if the government believes they are likely to spread contagious diseases, but a federal court has said it is arbitrary and should be lifted next week.
But don’t worry, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters. It’ll be fine because, well, he said so.
“The team has been working very hard,” Sullivan said, “to ensure that we are taking steps to be able to manage the expiration of Title 42 and put in place a process that will be orderly and humane.”
There, is it better?
“Musk” says thank you
Reader Greg Litzie is grateful to Elon Musk, writing: “It’s funny how a hero can be found and we didn’t know he was there. Musk is very smart, very inventive, very aggressive, and has a touch of quirkiness.
“He gave us a new understanding of how the Deep State works. It’s pure evil bordered with actions of betrayal.
“Trump was right, going back to 2016, the swamp needs to be drained.”
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