Island Vote: Trump's impact during off-year election

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WOODBURY -

Without the presence of any major federal or state elected officials on the ballot this Election Day, many are wondering if President Donald Trump's controversial policies and the tone in Washington, D.C. will have any effect on local races. 

Political analyst Larry Levy says presidents can sway elections even when they are not running. He points to the 2009 race for Nassau County executive. Incumbent Tom Suozzi lost that contest to underdog Ed Mangano by a few hundred votes. Levy says the difference may well have been the unpopularity of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act. 

ISLAND VOTE - Complete coverage of the 2017 races

He says one of the "biggest factors in local elections" will boil down to how voters feel about President Trump and "not about the candidates from Nassau or Suffolk." 

According to a recent Newsday/Siena College poll, 55 percent of the Island's registered voters had an unfavorable view of President Trump. Many voters who News 12 spoke with said that sentiment will not affect the way they vote. 

Chairman Joe Mondello says in his 34 years at the helm of the Nassau Republican Party, he's never seen a president have an effect on an off-year election.

"I think the national politics has a very limited effect on the election that's so local," Mondello told News 12

Suffolk Democratic Chairman Rich Schaffer says he believes dissatisfaction over the president could provide a bump for Democrats.

"We haven't felt it yet and we are hoping to be proven wrong," said Schaffer.

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