Democrats won statewide in New York, extending an electoral dominance that has been in place for decades. But Republicans can also point to successes down ballot in the crucial New York City suburbs, even as the party's results fell short of expectations in what many expected to be a wave year for the party.
In short, Tuesday's results in New York delivered bad and good news for both parties.
Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday became the first upstate resident to be elected the state's chief executive in a century. And while she ran up a big margin in New York City, political science professor Bruce Gyory said Hochul also benefitted from voters' support in upstate cities.
"She did really well upstate for a Democrat," Gyory said. "She carried Erie narrowly, comfortably Monroe, Onondaga, swept Albany, swept Tompkins."
Hochul's Republican opponent, Lee Zeldin, had sought to drive up turnout among his supporters at his home base on Long Island, focusing his campaign on a message of crime and public safety. But success on Long Island wasn't enough, and Zeldin underperformed in New York City.
In the five boroughs, Zeldin had hoped to reach at least 30% of the vote. He needed quite a bit more. And Zeldin failed to win urban centers in upstate New York.
"By consolidating strength in the metro suburban counties where most of the vote is, she under cut Zeldin's ability to drive a huge margin upstate," Gyory said.
Focusing primarily on getting enough votes in New York City and hoping for a big victory in the suburbs isn't a recipe for success in a statewide election, he added.
"For a Republican to win, they're going to have to have a strategy that focuses on all three regions simultaneously, rather than just two," he said.
But further down the ballot, Democrats showed problems, too. Larry Levy of Hofstra University's Center for Suburban Studies believes Hochul's presence at the top of the ticket did little to help Democrats in crucial swing districts in the metropolitan area.
Republicans were able to win seats on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, making gains in key political battlegrounds in an otherwise heavily Democratic state.
"Clearly, the lack of strength hurt Democratic candidates down ballot who needed to hold onto something given the tail winds, and it cost people in her party," he said.
The crime issue raised by Republicans up and down the ballot was effective in these races, where Republicans were able to win newly configured districts drawn by a court-appointed special master.
"The first thing that Democrats need to do is deal with the perception and reality — which is not quite the same thing — which is law and order," Levy said.
And as more moderate Democrats lose their races, that could lead to the rise of more left-leaning elected officials, who could pose a challenge for Hochul next year as the focus turns back to governing.
"I really think that what we're going to see is a direct reckoning between Democratic moderates and progressives," he said.