In a radio appearance Thursday afternoon, Governor Cuomo made his first public comments about the elections and how Republicans had a strong night across New York State. 

“I believe the Republicans beat the Democrats on the messaging,” the governor said. “I think they branded Democrats as anti-law and order. That hurt Democrats. It was untrue.”

What You Need To Know

  • Responding to Republican gains in Congress and the New York State Senate, Governor Cuomo said Republicans successfully painted Democrats as soft on crime

  • There are still thousands of outstanding ballots to be counted,  but on election night results showed Republicans made big gains

  • Millions of dollars were spent this cycle attacking the Democrats on the crime issue

While hundreds of thousands of ballots have yet to be counted, Republicans are ahead in many congressional districts, and state Senate Democrats lost four seats, with eight more in dispute. 

Republicans and independent expenditure groups spent millions of dollars painting Democrats as weak on public safety. 

“They ran de Blasio’s picture all over the state. They’ll turn New York State into New York City, looting and crime and homelessness, law and order. That was their message and it resonated more than it should have,” Cuomo said. “But when they count all the ballots, we will be fine, but it should not have been this close.”

While de Blasio’s likeness was used in many mailers for Republicans locked in state Senate races, an ad featuring Cuomo was used by a Republican campaign in the Hudson Valley. 

Asked about Cuomo indirectly blaming him for the losses, the mayor responded with a joke. 

“I think what I’ll do going forward is I’ll strongly endorse the Republican candidates and confuse matters going forward in New York State. That will be my plan for the years ahead,” de Blasio said.

There are more paper ballots this election than any year prior, so the outcome is far from determined in all these races where Republicans appear to be ahead. At least here in the city, they won’t even begin counting those ballots until next week.