Allison: We’re joined today by Curt Smith, a local political analyst and former speech writer for George H. W. Bush. Thanks so much for being with us.
Curt: It’s my pleasure.
Allison: Talk a little bit about this Primary for the Republicans. New York’s coming into play for the first time in quite some time.
Curt: Well, New York is almost always out of play when it comes to a Presidential Election. The last time that a Republican captured New York was 19-88. Ronald Reagan won New York but then he won everything else, including every state but one and that one state was Walter Mandel’s state of Minnesota 49-to-1. Republicans have rarely been even competitive in New York ever since. Donald Trump is expected to win overwhelmingly on the Republican side. The Democratic side I think is a bit more murky, but just because Trump wins a landside on the Republican side means absolutely nothing, it seems to me, in terms of portending. If you look at November, Democrats still have almost a 2-to-1 registration edge, and that edge grows daily because immigrants come into New York both legally and illegally, and that of course swells the Democratic edge.
Allison: Well, we’re seeing that locally. Right now in most recent registrations, with more than ten thousand new Democrats and roughly only five thousand new Republicans. Should that concern people locally in the Republican party as well?
Curt: Well, if I was a Republican official, it certainly would concern me. I remember growing up in this area when this was considered to be a Republican bastion, and it was the exception; not the rule when Republicans lost. That steadily has changed over the years and the demographics of Monroe County have changed. “More highly-educated;” that used to mean “Republican” but now that tends to mean “Democrat.” “More highly-income;” that tends to mean “Democratic” as well. Now we have about a fifteen thousand voter Democratic registration edge. When you take an attractive Democratic candidate and put him or her with that edge, it makes it almost impossible for a Republican to win in Monroe County.
Allison: Last question Curt, you were previously a supporter of Marco Rubio earlier on in the campaign; now where do you stand with this current Republican field?
Curt: I feel like the reporter who was once asked about a World Series about two teams in it and he says “I don’t think either team can win,” and that’s how I feel basically about these three candidates that are left. John Kasich will never be nominated by this party; he’s entirely too liberal. Ted Cruz has yet to prove any kind of likability factor, and Donald Trump? There’s this unpredictably, this zaniness I suppose, but also this crazed factor to him that makes him I think entirely too irrational for the Republican party to nominate. Whose left? Nobody! I think nobody will remain when the Republicans congregate in Cleveland come July.
Allison: All right Curt, thank you so much for your insight today ahead of the Primary. Thank you again for coming in. Remember, if you missed this conversation, or any of our other local political news, you can head to rochesterfirst.com and click on “Y-L-E-H-Q.”