On April 19, the presidential election season will reach New York. The outcome of this primary is of great interest because, in a rare, never-before-seen scenario, the opinions of New Yorkers remain somewhat mysterious. Or rather, we know what the state’s voters think — but we aren’t quite sure how these opinions will manifest at the polling place, when people are choosing between three New Yorkers who represent very different facets of complicated Empire State identity. Do Democrats still love their former senator, or will some of them defect to another senator from Vermont born in Brooklyn? Are Republicans excited or repulsed by Donald Trump, self-appointed bodyguard for New York values?
We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out. Until then, let’s take a stroll through a few of the ways New Yorkers have shared their opinions about Trump, Clinton, and Sanders in recent years.
We’ll start with Trump — the man credited with exporting a certain type of New Yorkiness to the masses, even though it was more like he was spritzing the overpowering parfum de Donald across the city as we failed to escape its presence.
There May Not Be Many Republicans in New York — But They Like Trump
Fifty-four percent of Republican voters in New York have a favorable opinion of Donald Trump, according to a recent Siena College poll. A plurality of Republican voters in the city, in the suburbs, and upstate are planning on voting for Trump. And the primary on April 19 is probably the only chance that these voters have to make an imprint on the presidential race, as they are vastly outnumbered by Democrats. According to totals from last November, there are 2.5 million active GOP voters in the state, compared to about 5.2 million active Democratic voters.
... And They’ve Liked Him for Awhile
On April Fool’s Day in 2014, Donald Trump’s helicopter zoomed over Empire State Plaza in Albany, the word "TRUMP" visible from the ground. He had spent the day rallying with thousands of protesters angry about the SAFE Act, gun legislation passed in New York shortly after the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary. Several people in the crowd held "Trump for Governor" signs; a month earlier, the perennial almost candidate announced he wasn’t running for president, although he was sure he would have won.
"I'm a big second amendment person; I'm a strong believer in it," Trump said at the event, giving an advance preview of his remarkably consistent rhetorical patterns. "You have the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and you have that right and they are taking it away, slowly, but surely, they're taking it away. And they're not taking it away from the bad guys." Republican Rob Astorino, a county executive in Westchester, lost to Governor Cuomo that fall. His campaign slogan was "Let’s Make New York Great Again."
No One Wants to Visit a Dump With Trump’s Name on It
Fifty miles north of New York City, there are several signs for the Donald J. Trump State Park. The 436-acre parcel of land was supposed to be turned into one of Trump’s gilded golf courses. Like many of Trump’s ideas, it didn’t pan out, so Trump donated the land to the state in 2006 — and was rewarded with tax breaks. In 2010, per Atlas Obscura, the park closed because of budget cuts, and is now inaccessible to the public. Not that you’d want to go there; it’s basically just an overgrown jungle of wetlands and branches, which seems somewhat fitting for a park bearing Trump’s name. Trump tried to get the land back after it closed, but the state wasn’t willing to give it back. The New York Times reported six years ago that "signs for the park posted on local streets have tended to disappear over the years. It is unclear whether the takers wanted souvenirs or to sabotage the park."
A few months after Trump jumped to the front of the 2016 polls, local legislators decided that they didn’t just want to prevent Trump from getting his land back — they didn’t even want his name to grace the ugly property. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney said back in December that maybe the park — which, remember, doesn’t really exist at the moment — could be named after Pete Seeger instead. George Pataki, who was governor when Trump State Park was born, said in February, "I wish it didn't have his name on it." Trump, maker of great deals, wouldn’t let New York have the land unless the state promised it would "bear a name which includes Mr. Trump's name, in acknowledgment of these gifts." New York might be stuck with Trump and his ugly baggage forever.
Correction: No One Wants to Visit a Dump With Trump’s Name on It Unless It’s a Golf Course
Last year, a Trump golf course opened in the Bronx. It was built on an old landfill. "There’s never been anything like this ever built in the history of golf," Trump told the New York Post. While you golf, you may happen upon a plaque in the middle of the course. It commemorates the course’s first hole-in-one, which allegedly took place on hole No. 12 on October 9, 2013 and is credited to -- who else -- Donald Trump. After the blessed event happened, Trump told The Wall Street Journal, "Can you believe that? It's a great omen to the course."
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point was supposed to open 12 years ago, and cost the city more than $100 million to build. The course, built in the poorest borough in New York, is the most expensive one in the city. After Trump opened his mouth and began his presidential bid, insulting nearly every minority group along the way, the city reportedly became less excited about the golf course, and began wondering if it could cancel the contract. The answer, for the moment, appears to be "no."
Trump, That Super Popular Guy Who No One Actually Likes
According to Donald Trump, Donald Trump is "like the most popular person that has ever lived, virtually," in upstate New York. "They're great friends of mine." A recent poll shows that, actually, 31 percent of voters upstate like Trump.
Downstate, only 21 percent of voters like Trump. Hundreds of those who have less than fond feelings toward the man marched from one Trump Tower to another earlier this month to make clear that New Yorkers don't always like their politicians home-cooked. The protest was organized, per CBS New York, by the Cosmopolitan Antifascists.
The Many Ways to See Trump’s Name at Central Park
On Easter weekend, a tombstone with Donald Trump’s name on it appeared in Central Park. The marker, which said "Make America Hate Again" and listed Trump’s birth year, disappeared before the workweek began. The Secret Service wouldn’t tell ABC News whether it considered the brief installation a death threat.
A few minutes south of the empty grave, you can find the Trump carousel. The park also hosts the Wollman Rink, which Trump helped the city build — and used to inflate his persona — back in the '80s. Then there is Trump Tree, the city’s gift to Trump for building the rink. Trump called it "the ugliest, scrawniest little trees you’re ever likely to see" in The Art of the Deal. And at the southwestern edge of the park, you will find Trump International Hotel and Tower.
Not all of his contributions to the park involve the landscape. In 1985, at the beginning of the Central Park Five case, Trump took out a full-page ad in the New York Daily News telling readers, "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!" The five black teenagers accused of rape in the case were later exonerated.
Every New Yorker Has a Trump Impression
Even Governor Andrew Cuomo. It is not good.
Hillary Clinton also has a Trump impression. It is not that great.
For the past few weeks, street performer Kalan Sherrard has been dressing up like Donald Trump in the streets of New York, letting people in Times Square or Union Square pay $3 to whack him with a pool noodle.
The New York Daily News was unable to get in touch to find out how many people had paid to punch the Trump stand-in.
Pro-Dump Trump Artist Paints Trump Dump
Anonymous New York street artist Hanksy, whose name is an obvious and intended rhyme on another, slightly more famous street artist’s pseudonym, debuted a new mural on the Lower East Side last fall. Now you know what it would look like if the poop emoji wore a wig.
This was not the first time Hanksy was inspired by Trump.
Last month, another artist used light to tag a building that already had Trump’s name on it.
Trump Is Especially Popular in a Part of New York With the Fewest New Yorkers
The New York Post talked to Mort Berkowitz, also known as the "Button Baron of Broadway," who sells homemade campaign swag in Times Square, earlier this month. Unsurprisingly, the Donald Trump buttons are doing tremendously well. The best-selling button reads, "We Shall Overcomb!"
The Worst Thing Trump Ever Did in New York
Donald Trump was once caught eating pizza with a fork in Times Square with Sarah Palin. It was such an egregious error that he explained in a YouTube video: "This way you can take the top of the pizza off so you’re not just eating the crust. I like to not eat the crust so we can keep the weight down at least as good as possible."
In response, Jon Stewart demanded to see Donald Trump’s longform birth certificate. "I don’t think you were really born in New York."
One of the signs at the anti-Trump rally in New York a few weeks ago read, "Trump Eats Pizza With a Fork. Enough Said."