In Mr. Gaughran’s district, which includes parts of both Suffolk and Nassau, some 36,000 absentee ballots have been received — again, with about half coming from registered Democrats — though the number in Nassau was unclear.
Still, Democratic strategists insisted that absentee ballots — which won’t be counted on Long Island or New York City until next week — could very well be enough to salvage their candidates.
“Everybody gets that the longer the votes are counted, the votes that are out there are Democratic,” said Evan Stavisky, a political consultant whose firm is involved in State Senate races. “If we understand that to be true in Pennsylvania, it’s cognitive dissonance that we don’t understand that to be true in New York.”
And while Mr. Stavisky recognized that some Democrats could lose, he said it was also possible the party could still retain its current 40 seats or even grow its majority because of wins in upstate races. “The Senate Democrats are likely to be in the same range of where they are now,” he said.
All three vulnerable Democrats had been hammered by Republicans on the issue of bail reform and other criminal justice reforms passed in 2019. Those messages were amplified by $4.5 million in indirect spending from Ronald S. Lauder, the billionaire cosmetics heir, who funded a political action committee that ran ads opposing candidates in nearly a dozen State Senate races. Those digital and television ads made no mention of Mr. de Blasio, but focused on bail reform, creating ads featuring loaded guns and wailing sirens.
Mr. Cuomo, for one, thought the campaign was effective. “They branded Democrats as anti-law and order,” he said, adding that while he thought it was untrue, “That hurt Democrats.”
Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, has been criticized in the past for doing little to help fellow Democrats, particularly Mr. de Blasio. This fall, however, Mr. Cuomo has done a series of virtual fund-raisers and robocalls for candidates, including Ms. Martinez, Mr. Gaughran and Mr. Thomas.
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