Nick Langworthy was perhaps the happiest New York Republican chairman on the day after Election Day in at least a decade.
And Langworthy has a lot to be happy about. The enrollment numbers are indeed gloomy for Republicans statewide. But the down ballot results, if they hold, are good for a party that many expected to lose big with President Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.
Republican incumbent John Katko appears poised to win another term in a central New York House district that Trump is expected to lose. Republican Claudia Tenney is running a close race with Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi in a neighboring district that runs from Utica to Binghamton. And on Staten Island, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis appears to have flipped a House district won two years ago by Democrat Max Rose.
On Long Island, Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has held his seat in Suffolk County; a close race is underway for the district vacated by Rep. Peter King that many Democrats had hoped to flip.
Republicans regained their toehold in New York City and potentially picking up a state Senate seat.
This is why Langworthy is happy today.
"We won critical races at the federal level, at the state level, both the Assembly and the Senate. We've won key areas that have eluded Republicans," Langworthy said at a news conference outside of the state Capitol.
The results, he said, "are a rebuke for a leftwing" agenda in Albany that has included measures like ending cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.
"There is an appetite out there for a strong silent group that doesn't go protest in the streets," he said. "They try to live their lives. They want a more free New York."
An underlying assumption in New York politics after the 2008 and 2012 elections is that Democrats do well in presidential election years. President Barack Obama had strong coattails both times. Hillary Clinton did not, and potentially neither did Joe Biden.
Upstate and on Staten Island, President Trump may have helped turrnout in some areas.
"We knew strategically there were areas he would perform well in," Langworthy said, "and those were areas we doubled down on."