Sure, part of it is New York City, but even if you take out the four boroughs of NYC where Obama demolished McCain 82-18 (leaving in Staten Island), Obama still carried the rest of the state by nearly ten points.
I agree that New York Republicans were never as far right as Republicans elsewhere. There certainly were self-described conservatives among them, but I've heard from a fair number of 'classic' or 'standard' Upstate Republicans that their party left them behind in its rightward march. They aren't necessarily excited about converting, but the Republican label is less exciting for them than it used to be.
The other piece is sadder, though. I've seen a few times among my friends from high school in Corning and in conversation in Dryden that a lot of kids moved south when they finished school. At least in my circles, I see more folks on the right making that move. The numbers I have aren't statistically significant, of course. However, I suspect that if you grow up under a constant barrage of stories about how leftists are ruining New York State, and in particularly Upstate's economy, then leaping to "right-to-work" states that seem to be growing is an appealing option.
Overall, I suspect lots of things are combining to create this long-term shift, especially Upstate. Republicans have difficult choices here.
(And Democrats have different challenges. I often wonder how long the status quo can last for either party.)Posted by simon at July 24, 2012 5:49 AM in New York State , politics (national) , politics (state)