"Two New York state senators who were instrumental in legalizing same-sex marriage in the state were in electoral limbo Friday after Republicans turned out in force for their opponents in a close primary that could hinge on the counting of paper ballots.
... National groups opposing gay marriage had targeted the senators, vowing to unseat them in Thursday's primary. Gay-rights advocates, in turn, poured more than $1 million into the races as they sought to make inroads among the GOP and provide evidence that Republicans can vote for gay rights and not be punished at the polls.
...All three GOP incumbents had the backing of party leaders and outspent their opponents by lopsided margins. They were praised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg raised money for them.
But Messrs. McDonald and Saland now face the possibility of becoming the first Republican senators in New York to be defeated in their party's primary since 1992, when George Pataki seized a state Senate nomination on his path to governor.
... Mr. Saland said it was a "one-issue" campaign. "My bigger disappointment is with the thousands who didn't come out despite my record of service to the community," he said Friday.
"If he hadn't cast that vote, I don't think anybody would have challenged him. People are not happy with that vote," said Kieran Michael Lalor, a tea-party-backed Republican running for state assembly from Mr. Saland's district.
... But for 81-year-old Janet Stedman, who backed Mr. Di Carlo, Mr. Saland's gay-marriage vote was the deciding factor. "That's what did it for me," she said.