Governor Kathy Hochul of New York barnstormed across the New York City region this weekend, concentrating on areas where strong Democratic voter participation would be essential to her hopes while relying heavily on former and current presidents.
President Biden joined alongside Ms. Hochul at a last-minute rally on Sunday at Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester County, New York.
Mr. Biden said, “Democracy is actually on the ballot.”
In a thirty-minute speech before a throng of college students and other supporters, Mr. Biden frequently assailed Representative Lee Zeldin, Ms. Hochul’s Republican opponent, for his opinions on gun control and abortion, and mocked his emphasis on crime as meaningless rhetoric.
The president stated, “Governor Hochul’s opponent talks a nice game.” “But it’s just talk.”
The president’s visit demonstrated that the New York governor’s race, previously assumed to be a worry-free campaign for Democrats, has become more competitive, echoing the party’s issues nationwide.
Mr. Zeldin’s presence followed a Saturday gathering in Brooklyn with former president Bill Clinton, who encouraged party faithful to reject the fearmongering and macho swagger shown by Mr. Zeldin.
The Democrats are bracing for a loss of the House and potentially the Senate, as the outcomes of elections in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin are difficult to predict.
Numerous surveys indicate that Ms. Hochul, a first-term Democrat who ascended to power in August 2021 upon Andrew M. Cuomo’s departure, leads Mr. Zeldin by single digits despite her party having millions more registered voters in the state.
During the final days of the campaign, Mr. Zeldin’s rhetoric on public safety and inflation appeared to galvanise and energise his supporters, such as Tony Donato, 60, a retired 911 dispatcher from Warwick, New York, who stated that a 2019 law that eliminated bail for the majority of misdemeanours and nonviolent felonies “has to go.”
While Democrats considerably outnumber Republicans in New York, there are still millions of independents like 42-year-old Barrett Braithwaite, who was shopping with her daughter in Downtown Brooklyn on a Saturday afternoon. Ms. Braithwaite said that she would likely vote Democrat but was not very enthusiastic about the next election.
At the Brooklyn event, Mr. Clinton implied that Mr. Zeldin was playing on concerns of violence, stating that he “makes it seem like Kathy Hochul goes to the next subway station every morning and passes out billy clubs and baseball bats to every train rider.” The lawmaker, he observed, “looks like he’s trying out to replace Dwayne Johnson in all those movies.”
Simultaneously, Mr. Zeldin conducted a number of rallies in the Hudson Valley and its surrounds, where three competitive congressional elections may possibly decide control of the House.
Democrats have attempted to harness fury over the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, threats to democracy, the Capitol riots of January 6, and the ghost of former President Donald J. Trump, who remains highly unpopular in the state he once called home.
He noted that the presence of such important Democrats, including previous rallies by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Kamala Harris, was indicative of Ms. Hochul’s worries with the campaign.
Why are you bringing so many people to New York if the race is not as close as we believe it to be? Mr. Zeldin stated.
Mr. Zeldin emerged with his wife and two kids and then reminded the audience of a shooting that occurred last month near his Long Island home. It echoed the candidate’s unrelenting emphasis on crime throughout his campaign, which included assaults on the 2019 bail legislation and the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, a Democrat whom Mr. Zeldin has portrayed as soft on crime.
Nancy Tomesheski, 62, a retired nurse and registered Republican from Howells, New York, wasn’t originally sure if she would vote for Mr. Zeldin, but she claimed that a recent event involving a friend of her daughter’s that was a victim of a crime helped persuade her.
Ms. Tomesheski said, “It’s out of control.” “We must recapture New York.”