Watch CBS News

Political experts say congressional races on Long Island could have national implications

Long Island congressional primaries could have national implications
Long Island congressional primaries could have national implications 02:32

LONG ISLAND -- Early voting is underway across New York state in a rare August primary for congressional and state Senate races.

That's because a court challenge led to late changes in redistricting, so some primaries were pushed from June.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday, congressional primaries on Long Island could have national implications.

READ MORENew York voter guide: Deadlines and details for August 2022 primary election

Having Primary day in August is confusing and on Long Island, and the hardest part may be figuring out what congressional district you're in.

"I'm not exactly sure what the number district," one person said.

"I'm sure a lot of people aren't aware. I try to pay attention and I wasn't even aware of it all," another said.

"Not a lot of people are paying attention, so you may have situations where you think you're going to vote for one person based on historic knowledge and you're gonna walk into the voting booth and kind of see names you don't recognize," government affairs expert Craig Johnson said.

Redistricting made substantial changes. For example, 1st District lines moved further west and the 2nd District moved east. The 3rd District no longer has any part of Suffolk County and now dips into the Massapequas, where freshman Congressman Andrew Garbarino is the Island's only incumbent.

"So Kathleen Rice is gone. Tom Suozzi is gone. Lee Zeldin is gone," former state Sen. Michael Balboni said.

With Zeldin running for governor and Suozzi and Rice vacating their seats, there are three wide-open seats.

"It's almost unprecedented how many open seats there are for Congress. Open seats for Congress usually come around once in a lifetime," political analyst Michael Dawidziak said.

At stake is no less than the control of Congress, giving Long Islanders a rare voice on the national stage.

"Right now, with the House being only a couple of seats in control, here is the chance for Long Islanders to set the stage," Balboni said.

"In the big scheme of things, 435 seats that are in Congress, only 80 of them are actually competitive, and all the ones on Long Island fall into that category," Dawidziak added.

All are suburban swing districts.

"I think Long Island and these seats will play a very critical role in who is going to be in the majority party come January 2023," Johnson said.

You can look online to find your current congressional district and if there is a primary. Please click here.

Time is running out to figure out who you'd like to send to Washington. Early voting runs through Aug. 21. Primary election day is Aug. 23.

Less than 16 percent of registered voters showed up in New York's June primaries. Some predict late August voting could bring an even lower turnout.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.