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Political Expert Calls GOP's Stunning Success On Long Island, Especially In Nassau County, A 'Red Tsunami'

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It was a bumpy Election on Long Island for Democrats. Some are calling the red wave a bloodbath.

One of the biggest upsets came in the race for Nassau County executive, where the incumbent, Laura Curran, had a double-digit lead, but that advantage evaporated.

With around 20,000 absentee ballots left to be counted, Blakeman has 52% of the vote, to Curran's 48%, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday.

The shock resonated from the New York City suburbs down the Eastern Seaboard.

"People are saying there was a red wave. They are wrong. It was a red tsunami," said Lawrence Levy of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

Republican Bruce Blakeman is declaring victory in the race, considered the biggest upset in Nassau since Ed Mangano unseated Tom Suozzi in 2009.

"We had the right message. It was taxes. It was crime. People are fed up with the liberal, progressive policies of the other party. This isn't the party of John F. Kennedy anymore. It's the party of AOC and Bernie Sanders and they are rejecting that, and Joe Biden, they're rejecting that," Blakeman said.

Popular and respected, Curran was expected to win in a landslide, but has not conceded.

"There are many thousands of absentee ballots that still must be counted, with more coming in. This is not over. We must trust the process," Curran said.

"Laura Curran was outstanding. I was surprised at that," one voter said.

Of the nearly 1 million registered voters in Nassau County, a mere 29% went to the polls. Republicans showed up in double digits over the Democrats.

"If Curran loses, it is clearly a result of turnout," Levy said.

"Politicians are like diapers. They have to be changed, otherwise the economy is going to fall apart," one voter said.

"I guess a lot of people are very disappointed with Joe Biden," another said.

"I think part of it is the referendum on the Democratic party leadership," said Jovanni Ortiz of the group South Shore Democrats.

"Sometimes you are going up against headwinds, and if people want to blame the party leaders, myself included, I'm used to that," state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs added. "You had Democrats under perform. You have Republicans over perform."

Blakeman overperformed, hammering home messages of taxes and assessment. The Hemsptead town councilman ran unsuccessfully in the past for U.S. Senate, Congress, comptroller and New York City mayor. His former wife, Nancy Shevell, is married to Beatle Paul McCartney.

Now, it appears Blakeman can finally take center stage himself.

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