Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Let the Senatorial Games Begin, Part IV: No Left Turns in New York

Speaking of seats that the Democrats really don't want to spend time worrying about, since they've got plenty of seats they have no choice but to worry about, things are lining up very well in New York for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) as she gears up for her reelection bid.

A lot of things would have to go wrong for a Democrat to lose in the deep blue Empire State, and the "what went wrong?" sequence would almost certainly have to start with a strong challenge from the left, forcing the Senator to move away from the center in order to secure her flank. However, it does not appear that such a challenge will be coming. Yesterday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said she is not running for the Senate in 2024 (not much of a surprise, as AOC is waiting for Chuck Schumer to age out of his seat). Reps. Mondaire Jones, Jamaal Bowman and Ritchie Torres (all D-NY) have also said they are out. That's pretty much a comprehensive list of the state's prominent progressive politicians.

The only plausible threat remaining to Gillibrand in her party would come not from the left, but from the center. Former governor Andrew Cuomo has hinted that he might mount a bid, since he's desperate to return to political prominence. That said, given how his time as governor ended, he might not get a single vote from a woman voter up against Gillibrand. Last we checked, they are half the population, and more than half of the Democratic Party. Many male voters would be none-too-enthused about Cuomo, either. So we doubt he runs.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, the Republicans don't have anyone yet. Lee Zeldin has said he's considering it, but if he couldn't beat Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY), he's not going to beat the much more popular Gillibrand. Alternatively, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis might jump in, but she'd probably have to give up her House seat (not legally required, but politically necessary), and may not want to do that to tilt at windmills. If neither Zeldin nor Malliotakis is interested, the Republicans will try to find a sacrificial lamb... er, "strong candidate" who can self-fund. Maybe the people who dig up Spiro Agnew (see above) could then swing by the Rockefeller Family Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow and excavate the corpse of Nelson Rockefeller. He could certainly self-fund, and then 2024 could be known as the year of the zombie former VPs. (Z)

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