© 2023 WRVO Public Media
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Coverage of the 2016 presidential election from NPR News and related blogs, including candidate profiles, interviews and talking points.On-air specials will also be broadcast as Election Day approaches, including the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.WRVO also provides coverage of regional elections both on-air and online.

Republicans appear to have gained the majority in NY State Senate

New York State Senate

Democrats had hoped to make inroads into the New York State Senate. But preliminary results show the Republicans gaining one seat to hold a razor-thin 32-seat majority.

Despite a corruption scandal among Republicans on Long Island, incumbent GOP senators apparently kept their seats, and won an open seat formerly held by a Republican.

In close races in the Hudson Valley, GOP candidates also held on, and in a western New York swing district that includes portions of the Buffalo area, Republicans took the post back from Democrats.

If the results in the races, some of which are only a few hundred votes apart, hold, then Republicans would have a numerical majority with the required minimum 32 seats.

“Tonight, we have grown our majority in the New York State Senate,” said Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif.

A spokesman for the Senate Democrats says some of the races are too close to call, though, and predicted that Democrats could actually pick up a couple of seats.

“With thousands of votes remaining uncounted in multiple state Senate races, we expect more Democratic candidates to win when all New Yorkers’ voices are heard,” said Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been campaigning for Democrats to win the Senate, but none of the Democrats that Cuomo endorsed appear to have won on Tuesday.

The win by Senate Republicans also weakens the bargaining power of a breakaway faction of Democrats, known as the Independent Democratic Conference. Cuomo had been urging the IDC to form a governing coalition with the rest of the Democrats after Election Day, anticipating that Democrats would pick up seats.

Now the IDC’s only path to influence may be to form a coalition with the Republicans. But if the numbers hold, the GOP could rule the Senate without help from any Democrats.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.