The New York Primary had a few surprising wins this year and the power of the Senate looks like it could start to shift.
In 2011, a rogue group of Democrats led by Senator Jeff Klein, split from their party and formed the Independent Democratic Conference, or the IDC.
Despite the backlash, the IDC waited until April of this year to dissolve and join back with the Democrats. It appears it was too late for at least 6 of the former IDC members, who lost their primary seats, including Jeff Klein.
“I think a lot of it is motivated by the President and Democrats want to be counted in 2018. And I think you saw that in the huge turnout,” Blair Horner, the Executive Director of NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group), said.
Horner explains that some of the wins were largely because of changing demographics within district lines and a little bit of the so-called “blue wave”.
“I think there was a lot happening within the individual districts that you saw play out. Some of it was through a real turn on by the Democrats in terms of wanting to go to the polls this year.”
For someone like Jeff Klein, who was the former leader of the IDC and most recently Deputy Democratic Leader, his loss in the primary means a whole different Senate next year.
“It must have been shocking to him. I think what it shows is that there will be more cohesion in the Democratic conference, then had these members of the Independent conference been there because there were personal tensions.”
If Democrats keep these seats in the general election, this will have a huge effect on how policy is shaped.
“Most of the insurgents that won in the primary are to the left of the people that they beat.”
This means, that while Democrats might get along more and get things done, we’re also looking at a Senate possibly pushing some very liberal bills through, such as universal healthcare.
“What’s going to determine more than anything else is going to be the size of their majority come January.”
The General Election is November 6th.