In Queens, Ed Braunstein, who has represented Bayside and the surrounding neighborhoods in the state Assembly since 2010, is trailing Republican challenger John-Alexander Sakelos by 1,791 votes, or about 5 percent of the vote.
There are just over 105,000 mail-in votes that still need to be counted in the borough.
Congressman Tom Suozzi, who has represented a district in Congress that overlaps Braunstein’s district as well as parts of Nassau County since 2016, also trails his Republican challenger, George Santos, by over 4,000 votes, although the percentages are closer.
Santos has 50.5 percent of the vote, while Suozzi earned 49 percent on Election Day.
Nearly 70 percent of voters in Queens cast their ballot for Joseph Biden, but voters in northeast Queens and Nassau County are typically more willing to vote Republican than other parts of the borough and city.
While he still lost his home borough in 2016, President Donald Trump enjoyed solid support in that same part of Queens. That support was likely still there in some form, which could explain the strong showing by both Santos and Sakelos.
Or perhaps Trump supporters, turned off by the president’s rhetoric and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, voted for Biden but still decided to vote heavily GOP down the ballot, which is why the challengers are making strong showings in an election with a historic turnout.
The same is true in south Brooklyn, where two Democratic incumbents are on the verge of losing to Republicans.
Congressman Max Rose was elected to Congress in a district that represents south Brooklyn and parts of Staten Island just two short years ago, a stunning upset for a Democrat in a district that was represented by a Republican for years.
But much like northeast Queens and Nassau County, both south Brooklyn and Staten Island voters have shown their willingness to vote GOP, and currently Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis holds a fairly strong lead over Rose.
Malliotakis enjoys a 37,000-vote lead, although there are about 40,000 mail-in ballots still to be counted, and Rose has refused to concede the election.
Rose was swept into office during the mid-term elections two years ago, which saw a motivated Democrat base head to the polls, with many Republicans – especially those motivated by Trump - likely staying home in 2018, satisfied that their man was in the White House.
That motivation also sunk former state senator Martin Golden, one of the last Republicans in Albany representing New York City. He served in the seat since 2002, after serving four years in the City Council.
He was popular in his district and his was considered a safe seat for the GOP, but the Republican backlash that elected Rose also elected Golden’s challenger, Democrat Andrew Gounardes.
But now Gounardes is trailing his Republican challenger Vito Bruno by 6,000 votes, but according to Gounardes there are still 13,000 mail-in ballots left to be counted, which could break in his favor.
Other notable possible upsets include an Assembly district in Coney Island and Sea Gate, where incumbent Mathylde Frontus, a Democrat who was also elected to office two years ago, trails Republican Mark Szuszkiewicz by nearly 3,000 votes.
In south Queens, also a reliably strong GOP voter base, State Senator Joseph Addabbo maintains a slight advantage over Republican challenger Thomas Sullivan, although the race has yet to be called. Still, Addabbo enjoys a comfortable lead of 6,000-plus votes.
The rest of the local races went solidly Democratic, as is to be expected with the voter registration in the city leaning predominately blue.
However, in the areas where Republicans are making races competitive and may eke out victories, it will be interesting to see if the GOP can flip some City Council seats next year when over 30 seats will be vacant.
Much will depend who can motivate their electorate to head to the polls, and if many will stay away because of fatigue from this year’s grueling election cycle.