Things continue to go badly for Democrats in the upcoming special election to replace resigned Staten Island/Brooklyn Rep. Michael Grimm (R).
Though Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) still has yet to schedule the election date, it is clear that Richmond County District Attorney Dan Donovan will be the eventual Republican nominee in this New York congressional district. The latest developments suggest he is now becoming a prohibitive favorite to win the seat, too.
Staten Island Assemblyman Michael Cusick was commonly viewed as the likely Democratic nominee. With polling showing him already 20 points behind Donovan, Cusick announced that he will not run for Congress after all. This leaves the Democrats with second-tier choices.
Coming into view is New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile, who is reportedly seriously looking at the race. But, Gentile is part of a continued losing Democratic formula in this district.
The 11th CD, formerly numbered 13, captures all of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. The Staten Island portion represents two-thirds of the district’s population, and therefore candidates hailing from there have the upper hand. Previous Brooklyn Democratic candidates such as 2014 nominee Domenic Recchia, a former NYC councilman, fared poorly in general elections … especially this last time when Staten Island native Grimm won 53-41 percent even though he was facing a 20-count federal indictment.
Lagging in the polls and now possibly turning to another Brooklyn candidate in the person of Gentile, even staff members at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are conceding that they face a difficult road in the special election. But, they say, their chances will improve in the 2016 general under a presidential election turnout model.
Unless he makes a major gaffe, Donovan is about to punch his political ticket to Washington.