A Long Shot Against Gillibrand
4:05 PM, Mar 23, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Long has big obstacles in her path against Gillibrand, not least of which is New York’s deep blue voting pattern. Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 3 million, and New Yorkers haven’t elected a Republican to the Senate since Al D’Amato in 1992. In 2010, Gillibrand cruised to victory in a special election to retain her seat, defeating an underfunded, underwhelming Republican candidate by 28 points in an otherwise banner year for the GOP. In 2012, with the money of the Democratic party behind her and Barack Obama at the top of the ticket (Obama beat John McCain in New York by 27 percent in 2008), Gillibrand won’t be easy to topple.
But Long hopes that by casting herself as an independent conservative, she'll can appeal to New York voters. In her state GOP convention speech, Long listed off the names of Senate giants—Robert Kennedy, James Buckley, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Hillary Clinton, and D’Amato—of whom New York should be proud.
“With so many serious issues and responsibilities before the United States Senate,” Long said. “I think New York needs an independent senator who thinks for herself, not someone who just rubberstamps the Obama agenda or checks with Chuck Schumer and says, ‘Me too.’”