From the Morning Memo:

Once upon a time, local-level primaries were predictable events.

Often the low turnout nature of the elections led to the establishment candidate easily coasting to a victory that was never in doubt.

Like many things in the era of President Donald Trump, that’s changed.

The apparent victory of Tiffany Cabán in the Queens district attorney race — she leads Melinda Katz narrowly and making up the difference in paper ballots appears a high bar to reach — is now a version of the new normal.

Cabán’s victory, of course, will be compared to the stunning upset by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a year ago, when she defeated Rep. Joe Crowley. But it’s also another example of how the low turnout advantage in these races has flipped from the establishment to the insurgent candidate.

And unlike Crowley, Katz could have seen the Cabán challenge coming. If Crowley wasn’t an example of what could happen to a “Queens machine” politician, look no further than the September primaries weeks later in 2018 throwing out Democratic incumbents around the state.

Katz, after all, had the backing of key Democratic leaders like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who helped fundraise for her as well as key labor unions. She had the name recognition of someone who has run borough-wide in the past.

Now in low turnout races, where there’s a strong ground game from candidates like Cabán with volunteers willing to knock on doors and do the leg work, the competitive edge has been flattened.

For now, this is only working on the local level, where GOTV efforts have not been as robust for less nimble establishment candidates and the progressive grassroots want something different on issues like criminal justice policy, which a district attorney is in charge of carrying out.

Statewide, these challenges are likely difficult to scale. Cuomo spent heavily to win his primary last year against Cynthia Nixon, but he did so with an eye toward goosing turnout as much as possible — and it showed in the final results.

But at some point, those advantages for running statewide — a large ad budget, campaigning across multiple media markets in a state that can take five hours to traverse end to end in a car — could very well melt away, too.

For readers of tea leaves, it could very well be the shape of things to come for primaries, especially next year, when state lawmakers seek re-election themselves. The grassroots of the Democratic base is eager for some change and are willing to cast aside the establishment choice to get it.

If you are an incumbent state lawmaker, the planning will begin now for how to counter — or subsume — that enthusiasm over the next 12 months.