“It’s political party time, going down, going down.” – Talking Heads

It’s weird writing about Election Night when more than 700,000 absentee ballots could still be out there floating in the mail, a weight heavy enough to tip the balance of any race.

To measure that weight, just ask Tiffany Caban how it felt to hold a lead on election night last year – only to see it slowly whittled away when the final votes were counted in the race for Queens district attorney.

But Caban aside, it would be far better to be Jamaal Bowman this morning than Eliot Engel in their congressional battle. And it would be far better to be Ritchie Torres than the 11 other candidates for Congress in the South Bronx. They could both be poised to be freshman members of Congress.

Meanwhile, it promises to be a long, hot summer for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who was clinging to a small lead over challenger Suraj Patel in a rematch of their battle from two years ago.

Other incumbent members of Congress seemed to be sitting in the catbird seat. Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez likely won’t be sweating when the envelopes start getting opened by elections officials next week. Donovan Richards is also in a strong position in the crowded race for Queens borough president when absentee ballots get tallied. 

As predicted, several local state lawmakers had very tight Democratic primaries. Three local Assembly members – Michael DenDekker, Michael Miller, and Aravella Simotas – all ended their nights trailing their challengers, something almost unheard of in Albany.

On the presidential front, Joe Biden easily beat Bernie Sanders, but Sanders managed to win delegates to the Democratic National Convention – virtual or real – by getting almost 20 percent of the vote.

While the coronavirus managed to delay the primary’s outcome, it’s heartening to see democracy trudge on despite the city being devastated by a global pandemic. In some places, there were hitches and glitches and lines that were too long. But if turnout in a Democratic primary caused the system to buckle, we have a lot to prepare for before November. Meanwhile, there are a lot of envelopes to open before we can even write up the names for the next ballot.

For more of Bob's columns, visit the NY1 Political Buzz homepage.