The chair of New York State Democratic Committee said he wasn’t surprised New York’s voter turnout was low in Tuesday’s primary.
“Primaries are generally a low turnout event, so that doesn’t surprise me,” Jay Jacobs told Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” Wednesday, adding that low voting rates happen throughout the country
According to Jacobs, New York City was in the 14% range of turnout overall.
Susan Kang, an associate professor of political science at CUNY’s John Jay College and an organizer with the New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, called the low turnout primary a “failure” on the party of the Democratic party leadership.
According to Kang, the primary number statewide was 45% lower than the 2018 election. She also said she thinks the city’s turnout was 50% lower for the governor primary compared to 2018.
“I think what’s important to think about is that this has been a very confusing election for people,” Kang told Errol on “Inside City Hall Wednesday. “When I’ve done my door knocking, people would say, ‘What? When is the primary election?’ And I think that reflects a lot of the failure leadership of the Democratic party because we would have two primaries if it wasn’t for this disaster around their drawing of the districts.”
The primary was split in two this year after New York’s courts overturned Democratic-drawn redistricting maps, moving congressional and state Senate primaries to August.
Due to divisive national issues, such as the Supreme Court’s recent decisions that overturned Roe v. Wade and undid New York’s concealed carry law, Jacobs said voters will be energized for the November general election.
“Voters are going to be reacting to that in the polls and I’d like to say, ‘Look, if you’re happy with the way things are going, vote Republican.’ If you think these are things that would bother you, and we need to change, then you gotta vote Democratic,” he said.
When it comes to the primary’s incumbent races, Jacobs pointed out the state party-backed candidates won most of those races. Although three incumbent Assembly members lost their races — Jose Rivera in the Bronx, Tom Abinanti in Westchester, Kevin Cahill in the Hudson Valley.
“I would say this was a very good night for the Democratic party for moderate voters and moderate candidates, incumbent candidates, so let that be on the record,” he said.