New York ripe for Trump’s taking, GOP chair says: Biden is in a 1980-Carter moment


New York has not favored a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 upsets, but that trend is likely to change, state Republican Party Chair Ed Cox told Fox News Digital in a Monday interview.

President Biden’s tenure is increasingly showing parallels to that of then-President Carter, Cox said, adding that while the Empire State is a blue state, it is truly “blue-collar blue, not West-Side-Manhattan blue.”

In that regard, Cox said, while the state has high-profile pockets of progressive strongholds, New Yorkers overall are “pragmatic” and are truly having déjà vu from the run-up to the last time the state shocked the country on Election Day.

“We have a lot of independents here in New York. And they’re the ones who are going to take a look, and they’re going to say, ‘Are we going to risk [it]?’” Cox said, underlining his belief Trump can win its 28 electoral votes.

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Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower. (AP/Julia Nikhinson)

“New Yorkers take a look at what’s going on in the foreign arena and the weakness of [Biden].”

Cox said he had come to his conclusion prior to Biden’s disastrous debate performance, but added the forum did underline his case.

“It just shows again that Biden is just out of touch with what the American people want, probably because of his infirmities, whatever you want to say. But Carter was out of touch, too, if you take a look at his malaise speech,” Cox said.

“It’s not quite the same, but it still shows they’re out of touch with where the American people are while President Trump is in touch. It leads to other very interesting analogies.”

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Cox noted that Reagan’s “Are you better off than you were four years ago” remark was a game-changer against Carter, drawing a parallel to Trump’s rally reminders of his four-year record and saying that messaging will again resonate in New York.

Cox noted that Hispanic and African-American voting blocs in the state are shifting in Trump’s favor. He said he attended the former president’s recent Bronx rally and saw that assertion personified in the massive crowd at Crotona Park.

In 1980, New Yorkers were feeling the weight of “stagflation” under Carter and a floundering GDP in what was and is the business capital of the world, Cox said. The chair is also the son-in-law of another president from that era: Richard Nixon.

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“It was ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ then, and it’s ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ now,” Cox said.

While former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., came very close by New York standards to defeating Gov. Kathy Hochul, he still fell short. 

Zeldin, too, was buoyed by a tough-on-crime message, while unlike the state’s last Republican governor, George Pataki, he had to prematurely expend resources in a costly primary.

When asked why 2024 would look different from 2020 in that respect, when Biden won New York by double digits, Cox returned to the pragmatism he sees in New Yorkers.

Democrats within New York also tend to support more populist candidates, he said, pointing to how New York Mayor Eric Adams trounced more progressive opponents in his primary before defeating GOP nominee Curtis Sliwa.

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In making the case for Trump’s chances, Cox pointed to the state’s beginnings in present-day New York City:

“Go back to New Amsterdam. Why did people leave the Netherlands to come to the United States? Because Amsterdam was a wide-open city that judged people on their merit. Yeah, they smoked too much, they drank too much, this and that. But by golly, they were an energetic international city where people were judged on their merit,” he said.

“New York inherited that.”

In that way, New Yorkers are likely to judge Trump and Biden on their merits now that they have lived through four years of each, giving the former a better shot, Cox added.

A Republican has not held statewide federal office there since Sen. Al D’Amato preceded Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in 1998.

Fox News Digital reached out to several New York Democrats for comment, while Hochul’s office could not be immediately reached.



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