The Point

Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic candidate in the 3rd Congressional District. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Daily Point

New CD3 poll shows a Zimmerman edge

Robert Zimmerman has internal polling results in the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District that show him at 17%, with Jon Kaiman at 13%, Melanie D’Arrigo at 12%, Josh Lafazan at 10%, and Reema Rasool at 1%. The poll shows the race is up for grabs.

Nearly half, or 48%, of 400 likely Democratic primary voters surveyed by the Global Strategy Group between July 20 and July 24 said they are still undecided entering the monthlong period leading up to the Aug. 23 balloting delayed by redistricting.


The campaign for Zimmerman, a businessman and longtime Democratic National Committee member from Nassau County, is expected to cite the findings, obtained Wednesday by The Point, to make the argument that he is the best known of the candidates in the district.

The poll describes his voter ratings as 29% favorable and 11% unfavorable, with 40% name identification. Kaiman, it says, has 29% favorable and 8% unfavorable, with 37% name ID; Lafazan 20% favorable, 9% unfavorable, with 29% voter ID; and D’Arrigo 17% favorable, 8% unfavorable, with 25% name ID.

“Communication will be critical in the final weeks to build Robert's lead,” an internal Global Strategies analysis said. “The good news is that the numbers show that Robert's message is resonating with voters, and it is imperative that Zimmerman have substantial resources so that he can out communicate his opponents and get his message across the district.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the findings look significantly different from the survey snapshot that rival Lafazan released to The Point last month, which described the Nassau legislator as neck-and-neck against Kaiman, with 20% each, and set Zimmerman further back in the pack at 10%. In that survey, released nearly a month ago, only 43% of those polled were said to be undecided.

In the race to succeed Rep. Tom Suozzi, who’s vacating the seat at the end of the year, both sets of numbers suggest the race is just starting to build. The winner of the primary will face Republican George Santos in November.

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— Dan Janison @Danjanison

Talking Point

Record-setting women

New stats from the Center for American Women and Politics show some gains and intriguing possibilities for female candidates around the country.

Record-high numbers of women are currently serving as governors, lieutenant governors, or members of the House, according to a Tuesday briefing from the group, part of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.


That includes 19 female lieutenant governors, 121 members of the House, and nine governors, the last of which matches a previous high. The majority are Democrats.

CAWP has also analyzed the racial breakdowns of women running for office this cycle, finding records for Black women at the highest levels: At least 133 Black women are major-party House candidates, 21 are Senate candidates, and 12 are in the running for governor. Again, the vast majority are Democrats.

New York is part of this shift, most prominently with Gov. Kathy Hochul at the top of the ticket this fall. But the Long Island congressional races feature women from both parties from east to west, including Bridget Fleming and Michelle Bond in CD1, Jackie Gordon in CD2, Melanie D’Arrigo in CD3, and Laura Gillen in CD4, all of whom have either run congressional primaries or general elections before, or boast significant amounts of money for their races.

Could that mean an all-female Island delegation? It’s statistically not very likely given the number of male contenders — but it, too, would be record-breaking.

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point


July 24, 2022: Inflation Credit: The Buffalo News/Adam Zyglis

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Final Point

It’s electric!

As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority begins difficult conversations about enormous budget gaps coming as soon as next year, a coalition of Long Island’s largest regional groups is getting behind a big idea for the MTA that would cost a lot.

The coalition, which includes groups like the Long Island Builders Institute, the Long Island Association, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and the Hauppauge Industrial Association, has written letters to the MTA and to the state’s Climate Action Council suggesting that the council and the MTA focus on the goal of a “system-wide LIRR electrification” effort.

The Long Island Rail Road previously estimated the cost of electrification at $18 million per mile.

The coalition noted that the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act focused on goals and requirements for the private sector, but added that the public sector, including the MTA, has yet to provide a full plan of its own.

“We believe your Climate Action Council draft report, while beneficial in many ways, fails the residents of Long Island by not mandating a transformation from diesel to all electric service for the LIRR,” one of the coalition’s letters said, noting that the act requires the state to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Electrification, of course, isn’t a new ask. But it is an expensive one. It’s a capital improvement — and therefore wouldn’t impact the operating budget that’s now under duress. But even the capital budget remains a question mark — especially without certainty that congestion pricing, charging a fee to enter Manhattan's central business district, will become a reality anytime soon.

Coalition leaders said they recognized that the MTA is in a tough spot financially now. But they argued that planning for a carbon neutral future — and for an all-electrified LIRR — must begin now.

“Now is the time to at least start the process,” LIBI’s chief executive, Mitch Pally, a former MTA board member, told The Point. “You can’t let the next capital plan go by without a significant investment. To us, electrification in some kind of phased approach is essential to Long Island, both economically and environmentally.”

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall


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