From the Morning Memo:

How will New York Republicans, the party of Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits and George Pataki, engage Donald Trump?

The Queens-born businessman, after all, is technically one of their own, leading the Republican field for president by conjuring a brash combination of Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani’s knack for generating tabloid headlines and populist bombast, but pumped up on the steroids of the 24/7 cable news cycle and social media buffet.

But as the national GOP establishment continues to find ways of denying him the nomination at their convention in Cleveland this summer, Republicans in New York are divided.

Privately, some Republican operatives admit the party is in a bind over whether to embrace Trump and the new voters he’s brought to the polls or run away from him and his vulgar, racially charged rhetoric ahead of the general election.

There isn’t much at stake for Republicans in New York this election cycle save for holding onto one major brass ring: The New York state Senate.

“They have no good option,” said one GOP operative of the Senate GOP. “If they publicly oppose Trump, the rabble will turn on them; if they support Trump, they’re going to lose whatever women – especially single women – they hoped to get.”

The GOP holds a narrow majority in the chamber and their hopes for maintaining it could be scrambled next month pending the outcome of the April 19 special election to fill the seat vacated by disgraced Republican former Sen. Dean Skelos.

And yet, some Republicans see Trump’s potential for a big margin of victory in the presidential primary, to be held the very same day as the special election, as a potential boon for the GOP candidate in the race, attorney Chris McGrath.

“We’re seeing record turnout in these states that have already held their votes,” said Tom Dadey, the Onondaga County Republican chairman. “A higher turnout in that Senate district will help the Republican candidate there.”

Dadey earlier this year was the first GOP county leader in New York to endorse Trump. Last week, Nassau County Republican Chairman Joe Mondello became the third, saying in a statement that Trump has “struck a chord with voters who feel alienated and disenfranchised from their government.”

Trump, meanwhile, is ratcheting up his efforts in New York.

He plans to open a campaign office in the Buffalo building owned by Carl Paladino, the 2010 GOP nominee for governor and prominent Trump supporter. The Trump campaign is expected to hold rallies in several upstate cities, too, including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse — rust-belt communities that have seen jobs exported overseas.

And Trump could very well hold a rally on Long Island ahead of the special election in the 9th Senate district.

“Long Island polls very strongly Trump in the primary – so strong the Long Island Trump campaign leaders came to us, we didn’t come to them,” said a Trump ally who is looking closely at New York. “The Senate (special election) will likely drive a Trump event in the district.”

New York’s presidential primaries are almost always staid moments on the nominating calendar. Often held late in the process, New York has never played a decisive role in selecting a nominee in recent history.

Underscoring how blah New York is nationally, the Empire State is the only state holding a presidential nominating contest on April 19.

The isolation on calendar, however, could fuel an intense Trump-based focus on the state.

Trump’s campaign this week is expected to roll out a New York campaign team, according to those familiar with the campaign.

His remaining opponents for the Republican nomination — Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — have no campaign infrastructure in New York, Republican operatives interviewed late last week said.

A Siena College poll this month found Trump leading both Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by 27 percentage points. Rubio dropped out of the race last week after a poring showing in his home state.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is close to wrapping up the nomination against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Privately, some Democrats had been hoping for a competitive primary contest to continue into April and potentially drive up turnout to help Democratic Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky in the 9th Senate district.

That could still happen, as Clinton is expected to be a home-state favorite for Democrats who haven’t seen her name on a ballot since the 2008 primary contest against Barack Obama, which she won.

Clinton’s campaign, too, would likely want to notch a higher vote total than Trump on April 19, which could further fuel Democratic turnout in the Senate race.

(New York has a “closed” primary, meaning those registered in a party can only vote in that party’s primary).

There is just one mechanical hitch in the hope of a primary turnout fueling votes in the Senate special election: The presidential primary and state Senate special election will be on different ballots.

The means the Senate campaigns will have to figure out a way to tell their voters to remember to cast a ballot in the special election.

State Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin said the separate ballots will likely be available at two different spots at the same polling site.

The mechanics of this is no small thing: A Siena College poll this month showed Kaminsky and McGrath in a virtual tie for the Senate seat, making this a turnout election.

“I say it will have an impact,” Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg said of the presidential primary intersecting with the special election. “At this time, it’s still too early to know what the impact will be.”

The Republican presidential primary race has been so unpredictable, too, the picture could be a vastly different one a month from now.

“Five weeks ago it was a different world,” Greenberg said. “Chances are if we go forward five weeks, it’s going to be a different world.”

Democrats dating back to 2004 have gained ground in the Senate during presidential election cycles. In 2008, the party won control of the chamber for the first time in a generation, only to lose it after a tumultuous two-year term.

In 2012, Democrats won a numerical majority in the chamber, but Republicans aligned with the Independent Democratic Conference were able to maintain most of the trappings of power. The party now has a 32-member conference, counting Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder, who sits with the Senate GOP.

With the likelihood of Clinton at the top of the ticket, Senate Republicans are once again staring down the barrel of a demographic reality: They are simply outnumbered, by a margin of 2-to-1, in New York.

Trump supporters aren’t so sure. In fact, they think if Trump were to be at the top of the ticket, he could put New York in play — or at least drive turnout to help down-ballot candidates running in key legislative races.

“I’m optimisitc he’s going to be our candidate and I think that’s going to be very good for New York,” said Dadey, the Onondaga County chairman. “He’s our favorite son because he’s from New York. I truly believe he’s going to energize the base upstate.”

As for the Senate Republicans, Majority Leader John Flanagan insisted in a radio interview on Sunday with billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis the conference’s candidates stand on their own.

“I’m confident we have the right time, the right message,” he said when asked how a Clinton-versus-Trump contest would impact legislative races. “I have a very parochial focus on the quality of the people running as New York state Senate candidates and that’s why I think we’re going to win.”