Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
As the GOP gathers in Tampa for their quadrennial convention, it may seem a world away from the deeply Democratic world of New York City politics. President Barack Obama is leading Mitt Romney by almost 30 points in New York state. But fueled by the tea party-inspired energy of motivated activists, Republicans are winning local office.
The biggest upset victory was Bob Turner’s win in the race to replace former congressman Anthony Weiner a year ago. But the GOP has continued making gains: in March, a 32-year-old Russian immigrant named David Storobin beat three-term Democratic City Councilman Lewis Fidler in a special election in southern Brooklyn for state Senate. The margin of victory was 14 votes.
Republicans victories have tracked Republican enrollment. The darker areas of the map below show that in portions of Staten Island, southern Brooklyn and Queens, Republicans approach and, in some cases, surpass Democrats as the majority. But each win over the past few years has seen Republicans building coalitions and convincing Democrats to vote for them.
The GOP has a tough election coming up. With President Obama at the top of the ticket, Democratic voting is sure to be heavy throughout the city. But a host of Republican candidates from state assembly to congress are hoping to continue the trend of proving Republicans can still win in New York City.