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New York Democrats mull Congressional election losses

Nov 17, 2022 12:45 pm

Joseph Spector at Politico tries to figure out why New York Democrats running for Congress did so poorly in this fall's elections. In the Hudson Valley alone, Democrats lost two elections, with Republican Marc Molinaro flipping Antonio Delgado's former seat by beating newcomer Josh Riley, and with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, also losing. The story does not say that Democrats in Congress were expected to do poorly, as the party controlling the White House usually suffers in non-presidential elections. But Democrats nationally did better than expected, largely because of Republican positions against abortion and democracy. So why did New York Congressional candidates do worse than other Democrats? Some blamed Gov. Kathy Hochul's short coattails. “The governor’s campaign, I think, was just abysmally run,” said state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, a Rockland County Democrat who lost reelection even after outperforming Hochul by eight points in his district. Hochul disagreed. “Everybody can assess their own races and what went wrong for them, but we showed up,” she told reporters Nov. 16 in Yonkers. “I was everywhere, as was the state party.” Many Democrats blamed state Democratic Committee Chair Jay Jacobs for not organizing a better get-out-the-vote effort, and have called on him to resign. Hundreds of prominent Democrats have signed a letter calling on Jacobs to quit. “Jay Jacobs is not fit to serve as Chair of the State Democratic Party, and it’s time for Governor Hochul to work with the party to elect a focused, determined, unifying party leader,” the letter read. Hochul also disagrees with these officials. "I think he did a great job as chair, and he continues as chair. I am not changing anything,” Hochul said. Redistricting is also being blamed for the defeats of New York's Democrat Congressional candidates. First the Independent Redistricting Commission failed to draw new lines, kicking the process to the Democratic Legislature. Then the Democratic-appointed Court of Appeals tossed out the map Democrats in the legislature drew, leading to new lines being drawn by a Republican friendly court in rural Steuben County. “The lines that were created by the court master created the most competitive number of House districts in the country,” said former Republican Congressperson John Faso. That redistricting snafu also created a special election in August that may have confused voters. Read more about this story at Politico.