President Trump and Joe Biden may be duking it out for the White House, but they also are playing a key role in a fiercely contested congressional race on Staten Island.
The down-and-dirty contest between first-term Democratic Rep. Max Rose and GOP rival state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis for the 11th Congressional District encompassing Staten Island and southern Brooklyn is very much affected by the candidates leading their parties’ tickets, political observers say.
Veteran political consultant Bruce Gyory told The Post that Rose will likely benefit if the pandemic and other health-care issues are the overriding concerns with voters, as former Vice President Biden has tried to play up.
Meanwhile, former GOP Rep. Vito Fossella, who held the congressional seat for a decade, said a strong pro-Trump showing at the polls and Malliotakis’ strenuous pro-law-enforcement message would undoubtedly help her.
The House race is one of the most expensive and closely watched in the country. Trump carried the district by 10 points in 2016, but Democrats doubt he will carry the district by that margin again this time.
A potential Achilles’ heel for Republicans tied to the presidential race and legislative races down ballot is the gender gap — with more women gravitating toward Democrats, including because of Biden’s veep pick, Sen. Kamala Harris.
“The question is whether the gender gap becomes a gender gulch,” Gory said.