New York Democrats spoil House party as GOP aims for narrow majority

New York Democrats spoil House party as GOP aims for narrow majority

Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (DN.Y.) leaves the press conference in which he announced his concession to Republican Mike Lawler. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

A Democratic debacle in New York threatens to create a House Republican majority, disrupting what had otherwise been a history-defying election for the ruling party.

What is happening: Republicans won all four House races on Long Island and toppled the Democratic congressional campaign committee chair for the first time in more than 40 years. Furious Democratic strategists and outside observers say the wounds are self-inflicted.

Rollback: New York Democrats’ attempt to aggressively gerrymander the state’s map backfired dramatically this spring when state courts intervened at the last hour and ordered an independent mapmaker to plot more neutral lines.

  • The move sparked a wild race among veteran Democrats — including DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney — to choose which districts they would run in.
  • Maloney ultimately made the controversial decision to run in a neighboring district currently held by freshman black Rep. Mondaire Jones, who jumped to another district and lost his own primary.
  • “Yuk”, Jones tweeted after news broke Wednesday that Maloney had conceded his race to Republican Mike Lawler.

The big picture: As chaos unfolded in the wake of the redistricting, New York Democrats spent the rest of the campaign being hammered by Republicans on crime and bail reform — powerful issues that have allowed GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin to have a closer-than-expected race against Gov. Kathy Hochul.

  • “A good night could have been a good night if New York’s Democrats hadn’t screwed up the redistricting and ignored voters’ concerns about crime and disorder,” said former New York Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson . tweeted.
  • “All the warning signs were ignored. And that level of incompetence came at a high cost,” Wolfson later told Axios, citing Democratic losses on Long Island in the 2021 local election.

In the wings: “The finger-pointing of House’s losses in New York is at an all-time high,” a New York Democratic source sent Axios via unsolicited text message.

  • “All blame on the State Senate Democrats for messing up the lines given Hochul’s healthy margin. It could cost the Democrats the US House in the end…unreal.”
  • “I don’t think Hochul has created much surround sound for other Democrats running in the state,” another New York Democratic strategist told Axios, echoing the governor’s criticism from the final weeks of the campaign. .
  • The strategist also blamed disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for appointing several of the conservative-leaning justices who rejected the Democrats’ redistricting map: “It’s simmering under the surface, just so it all stinks. “

And after: “I hope this will prompt some personal reflection and course correction,” Wolfson told Axios. “Voters are calling for a policy change. We can get those seats back in two years if we address the causes that led to those defeats in the first place.”

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