Briella TomassettiNov 8, 2017, 8:32 pmNov 9, 2017, 1:34 pm

Did ‘Trump factor’ fuel Democratic election sweep on Long Island?

The president’s unpopularity may have crept its way into voters’ minds at the ballot box


HEMPSTEAD — Yesterday's elections marked a huge win for Democrats across Long Island and according to some political experts, it was partially due to unfavorable views of President Trump.

In Nassau, Democratic Nominee Laura Curran won over former Republican New York State Sen. Jack Martins in the Nassau County executive race. And Laura Gillen became the first Democrat in 100 years to be elected Hempstead Town Supervisor.

In Suffolk, another democratic victory was taken by the current acting police commissioner, Tim Sini, who defeated Tim Perini in the Suffolk County District Attorney race.

Craig Burnett, assistant professor of political science at Hofstra University, says it's hard to say if the Democratic wins were pivotal, but thinks there are some important trends worth noting.

"This is sort of the beginning, or perhaps even the middle of a transformation of Nassau County in general where we've seen the demographics change a little bit, at least on the political side, where we're now starting to see a larger gap between Democrats and Republicans in terms of registration," Burnett said.

He says "the Trump factor" may have also played a role in the election results. Although President Trump is very popular among people who live on Long Island, he's unfavorable to many voters in New York State as a whole which, according to Burnett, could have influenced some independent voters to sway left.

"They may decide, even though it doesn't have a strong connection to local politics, they don't like what's happening on the national level, and the only way to express themselves is to vote at the local level," he said.

Students at Hofstra University say that even though this year was not a presidential election, voting for their local candidates made them feel like they were making a difference and inspiring a change.

"A lot of people have actually gotten more political, and have actually engaged in the discussion. Younger people, older people, everyone's a lot more politically aware, and I think they feel like they're doing something by going out and voting," student Nairupa Persaud said.

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