An Old Fashion Dog Fight In The

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An Old Fashion Dog Fight In The Big Apple: D?Amato Vs. Schumer Essay, Research Paper The 1998 U.S. Senate race in New York is one of the most heated and competitive political battles in the country. New York has traditionally been a place where only the strong willed, and tough at heart could compete; a place where crafty tactics, extensive connections, and stocks of cash are essential aspects of political competition. This year?s combat field of a campaign has been no exception. The two primary candidates, 60 year old, incumbent, republican, Alfonse D?Amato, and 47 year old, democratic challenger, Charles E. Schumer, have been pitted against each other, head to head, for much of the campaign. Both candidates have strong backgrounds and powerful messages while also pursuing

rather abrasive, aggressive, and, in some instances, vindictive strategies. Most current polls have the two contestants neck and neck, with Schumer gaining a slight advantage in recent days. The fact of the matter is that D?Amato is a strong politician that knows how to get things done; however, he also flaunts a capricious, and impulsive style. With Al D’Amato, ?what you see is what you get, and what you get is often vital, sometimes useful and always unpredictable.?1 Schumer, on the other hand, offers the qualities of a serious lawmaker with more rooted values, sounder policy positions and a deeper commitment to the common good; in addition, a deeper compassion for the average citizen, and a professional tact and probity that each and every politician should exhibit. It seems

that it is time for a change; New York needs to be able to supply the Senate and our nation with strong and balanced leadership. Leadership that best benefits, reflects, and represents the quite diverse and heterogeneous population of New York. It seems that the people of New York, might have just had enough with D?Amato and his consistent embarrassing remarks and behavior on the floor of one of the most prominent and distinguished institutions of our land. Though the outcome should surely prove to be excitingly close, I feel comfortable predicting Charles Schumer the victor of the grueling contest. New York as a political state has a variety of significant characteristics. It is one of the largest and most diverse states in the union, with a population of approximately 18.2

million people, housing a broad range of ethnicities, races, and income brackets. The population is made up primarily of Caucasians (76.4% of voter pop.), African American?s (14.7% of voter pop.), Hispanics (11.2% of voter pop.), and Asians(3.8% of pop.).2 When most people think of New York, they think of New York City; however, it is important to note, that about 16% of the state is rural.3 Further, the population is also relatively young, with a median age of about 35 and only 13% of the of the population over the age of 65.4 In terms of an educated electorate, almost 45% of the population has a college education.5 New York is typically the most Democratic of the larger states. The Democratic influence used to come from middle-income Jews and Catholics in the outer boroughs of

New York City who still account for a large portion of the population.6 However, today, the Democratic vote comes from African Americans, Puerto Ricans and liberal Manhattan whites.7 New York holds great influence in presidential elections as well, with 33 electoral votes, the second-highest number behind California’s 54. While in presidential politics the Empire State tends to vote Democratic, in state politics voters have trended Republican.8 New Yorkers elected Republican Rudy Giuliani as New York City mayor in 1993 and again in 1997 and chose Republican George Pataki as governor in 1994. More specifically, the state has about 47% registered Democrats and 30% registered Republicans.9 Moreover, New Yorkers tend to vote in relatively the same proportion as the rest of the