Defending Biden in the Primary: What Do Congressional Republicans Really Want to Learn About the Democratic Party? A Survey of Congressional Political Issues in the United States and Puerto Rico
Biden won the popular vote by 4.5 percentage points, which is a better showing for Democrats, so that doesn’t mean they’re favored to hold the House. Recent polls have suggested roughly a dead heat between the two parties in the national popular vote. Democrats seem to have a shot at retaining the House. (Nate will be laying out that case in his newsletter next week; Times subscribers can sign up to receive it.)
Gerrymandering is a real problem for American democracy, especially in the drawing of state legislature districts, as The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer recently documented. If a Supreme Court case reduces the authority of state courts, some states, like North Carolina, are likely to re-drawing their congressional maps. If you wanted to rank the current threats to American democracy, gerrymandering wasn’t on the list.
The movement within the Republican Party to not accept defeat in an election would be the top one. The influence of the Senate on residents of small states is growing more and more, and the lack of congressional representation for Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico is also growing more and more.
The Case for a Minority: Midterm Results in the New Jersey House of Representatives Tom Malinowski and Republican Mehmet Oz
New Jersey congressional maps were redrawn last year, and Representative Tom Malinowski was considered a political goner.
In addition, President Biden’s popularity had fallen, gas prices were high, and the Seventh Congressional District of Mr. Malinowski had been redrawn to include more Republicans. When Mr. Malinowski announced he would run for a third term, he did so in a terse statement, quoting an ominous Shakespearean battle cry: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
But 10 months later, as voters have absorbed the impact of the Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion, there are signs that Democrats believe the national political momentum has shifted to a degree that even this race, written off by some as a strategic sacrifice, is narrowing.
Any path by which Democrats are able to stave off a midterm rout or retain a slim House majority cuts straight through districts like Mr. Malinowski’s, where moderate, well-educated voters helped Democrats win control of the House in 2018 and are seen as crucial to holding it.
The Point: With a 50-50 Senate, every race is the majority maker – or breaker. The trend line for the Republicans is moving in the right direction.
Normally, midterm elections are harsh on the party of incumbent presidents, particularly when public views of the economy and that President’s performance are negative. The Democrats lost a lot of money in the past elections.
Three states in particular — Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania — that are seen as the likeliest to change party hands have emerged as the epicenter of the Senate fight with an increasing volume of acrimony and advertising. In many ways, the two parties have been talking almost entirely past each other both on the campaign trail and on the airwaves — disagreeing less over particular policies than debating entirely different lists of challenges and threats facing the nation.
A month ago, Democrats had a 7-in-10 chance of keeping the majority in the US Senate in the midterm elections, according to a forecasting model built by the wizards over at FiveThirtyEight.
The Senate race has tightened as Republican Mehmet Oz consolidates support from Republicans after making it through a nasty primary with Trump’s endorsement. John Fetterman, the current lieutenant governor, had a slight lead over a celebrity doctor in a New York Times and Siena poll. It was done before their late October debate, when some of his supporters were concerned that he might not be able to win over the undecided voters after he suffered a May stroke. Still, only 3% of voters in a new Monmouth University poll said the debate had caused them to reconsider their choice in the race. In a Fox News survey taken after the debate 39% of voter said they were concerned about Fetterman not being healthy enough to do the job effectively, an increase of 5 points since the September question was asked.
In Arizona, the Republican nominee for senator is making up some ground on his opponent. There is no question that the incumbent is the favorite in the race.
A CBS News/YouGov poll out in Nevada shows the Senate race is in a dead heat, with Republican nominee Adam Laxalt at 49% and Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto at 48%.
Democrats are beginning to point fingers in Wisconsin, Where? Lieutenant. Gov Barnes has been watching his lead over the GOP Sen. Ron Johnson erode. “People are just hitting their heads against the wall. How do we let this happen?” said Tom Nelson, a Democrat who ran for the Senate nomination earlier this year.
No race has seen more drama in the last month than Georgia, where Trump’s hand-picked candidate, Herschel Walker, is facing allegations from two women that he urged them to get abortions, which he has denied. The accusation that the retired football star was a hypocrite, has been played into the Democrats’ narrative, but it seems to have had no effect on his standing in the race. After at first steering clear of the allegations, Warnock used them in a recent ad against his opponent. But the New York Times/Siena poll showed no clear leader, which was a tightening from a Quinnipiac University survey conducted after news of the first allegation that had given Warnock a 7-point lead.
But the race that could matter more than any other is a seat Democrats flipped last year. The outcome of Georgia’s governor’s race on November 8 will help determine whether or not a December 6 runoff is necessary. If Senate control is dependent on the state of Georgia, it will be a month before we find out which party holds the majority.
Donald Trump was on people’s minds as much as he was the incumbent. About 28% of voters intended their vote to express opposition to him, but a little less than the 30% who said they were expressing opposition to Biden.
The Keystone State rounds out the cycle where it began – as the Senate seat most likely to flip. The race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey represents Democrats’ best pickup opportunity. It was a crucial battleground in the 2020 election, as Biden narrowly won it after Trump had done it in the previous election.
Democrats, meanwhile, have seized on Oz’s comments during the debate that the discussion over abortion should be left to “women, doctors, local political leaders,” with Senate Majority PAC using it to link him to GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, who’s trailing in his race. Fetterman stood at 50% to Oz’s 4% in a CNN Poll of Polls which averaged four most recent surveys that meetCNN’s standards, including the Times/Siena poll and others conducted mostly before the debate.
Budd is the first Senate endorsee of the cycle to be outraised. Even though the Democrat got a boost from spending by outsiders on crime prevention, he was able to use the more favorable advertising rates that candidates get. The former state Supreme Court chief justice has been trying to be the outsider when running for a Senate seat. She says Ted Budd isn’t listening to her over high prices and stagnant wages. Her ads don’t mention that she is a Democrat or that her party has power in Washington. Democrats are attempting to make an economic counterargumen by hitting Budd on abortion. One senior contends in a Beasley ad that Budd voted against lowering the price of prescription drugs for people like them.
The GOP challenger’s image is underwater, but his favorability ratings are stronger. The Democrat’s favorability ratings are also higher than Biden’s approval – a potentially significant separation in a state the president flipped by less than half a point in 2020. Walker could benefit from the governor’s race in Georgia where Brian Kemp seems to have a better chance of beating Democrats than he did when he last faced them. The finish line of the race remains to be seen, if neither candidate gets 50% of the vote on November 8, the top two will advance to a December 6 runoff.
As the only Republican senator running for reelection in a state Biden won in 2020, Sen. Ron Johnson is the chamber’s most vulnerable GOP incumbent. A CNN survey from October found a close governor’s race between Johnson and Barnes with no clear leader.
Biden only carried Wisconsin by less than half a point in 2020, so it’s still a tough state, with an even tougher national political environment for Barnes. In a recent survey, Johnson was seen as the winner by 45% to 4% of likely voters, while Independents were breaking for him with 70% of registered voters saying they were concerned about inflation. Barnes was polling slightly lower than Biden in the state of Wisconsin. That’s one reason why Obama, who received a higher 53% in the state in 2012 while winning a second term, rallied with Barnes in the final weeks of the campaign.
Do We Really Need to Distinguish Between Democrats and Republicans? Sen. Burr, GOP Sen. Sununu, and the Senate Leadership Fund
The Senate Leadership Fund, which had to cut its spending because it was diverted elsewhere, got help from other Republican spenders, including Trump and the Club for Growth. After winning the Republican primary, Masters tried to dial back his rhetoric on abortion and election denialism. But the former president recently urged him to go “stronger” on his unfounded election fraud claims.
The race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr looks closer than many observers had expected at the beginning of the cycle. A late October poll showed that both Democrats and Republicans were tied with regards to registered voters. (Budd, a third-term congressman, had a small edge among definite voters.) North Carolina is accustomed to close elections – Trump only won it by about 1 point in 2020. But Democrats haven’t won a Senate race here since 2008, the last time the state went blue at the presidential level.
Democrats have long hoped that Beasley could help energize parts of their base that don’t usually turn out in midterms – like rural Black voters and young voters. Democrats haven’t been able to spend as much money in this race because they are defending many incumbents. Still, the Senate Majority PAC did up its spending in the state this fall, suggesting Democrats think Beasley has a shot.
Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, a Republican who won re-election while the Democrat who was his opponent, lost, told the Republican Jewish Coalition that he had been insulted by Trump. Let’s stop supporting crazy, unelectable candidates in our primaries and start getting behind winners that can close the deal in November.”
The national environment means she is vulnerable this year, even though she has a huge cash advantage, and she talked aboutstandingup to the president in her closing ad.
After a divisive primary, Trump’s hand-picked candidate, J.D. Vance, struggled to raise money and consolidate GOP support. The diversion of Republican super PAC money to shore up his candidacy is an example of his weaknesses as a candidate. The Senate Leadership Fund tried to poke holes in the moderate image of Representative Tim Ryan by tying him to VP Joe Biden. Ryan has a huge advantage in raising money and has been able to run a lot of ads that claim he sided with Trump on trade and takes on his own party.
The candidates were essentially tied in a late October Marist survey, which likely speaks to this particular matchup given that the same survey showed the gubernatorial contest not even close. But Republicans are confident, given the makeup of the state, that the remaining undecided voters in the Senate race, who made up 8% of registered voters in that Marist survey, will break late for Vance. It’s probably no accident that Trump is holding a rally in Ohio the day before Election Day.
For the second month in a row, the state that voted for Trump is on a list of seats most likely to flip. The incumbent, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, seems to be doing his best to win the election despite being outraised by his opponent.
Demings, a former Orlando police chief, has leaned heavily into her law enforcement experience. In one spot, she explains her opposition to defunding the police, and says the Senate could use a cop on the beat. She did not have enough to blunt the Republican attacks that she favored Washington over the police.
It could help O’Dea in a state Biden carried by more than 13 points in 2020. The race has become a point of divergence between President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has supported O’Dea. The Senate Leadership Fund gave $1.25 million to a pro-O’Dea super PAC – the same amount it gave to a group supporting Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley in Washington state. But Biden’s smaller margin in Colorado (he won Washington by 19 points) makes it more likely to flip if the national environment gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat in a state seen as safely blue.
Democrats did well in Pennsylvania. In 2020 they ran as well as Mr. Biden did. They swept all of the competitive seats. John Fetterman won the race by more than double what Mr. Biden won the state. Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor, won in a landslide.
The Republicans are likely to have won more votes for their US House candidates than the Democrats do, largely because of their strength in the races. Turnout in cities like Philadelphia was down relative to elsewhere, and the Democrats have not returned their strong showings with Latino voters from 2012 and 2016. Florida and New York are both large states and the Republicans have a strong presence there. Both parties have outcomes they can celebrate and watch.
The differences appeared to be the abortion and democracy issues that were at stake in each state. In Pennsylvania, Republicans nominated a candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, who was central to efforts to overturn the states’s 2020 presidential election results. Democrats worried that a victory by Mastriano could cause a constitutional crisis and endanger democratic government. It could have threatened a long-held right as well because Mr. Mastriano is an ardent opponent of abortion.
Democrats have strength in Colorado and Republicans have strength in Texas. Most of the impressive shows fit nicely in each party.
There’s the Republican landslide in Florida, where the stop-the-steal movement never sought to overturn an election result and where Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to go further than a 15-week abortion ban. There are the Democratic successes in Kansas and Michigan, where abortion referendums were on the ballot at different points this year, and where Democrats swept the most competitive House districts.
The leader of your state’s government is important to daily life in the United States. These governors and legislatures make policy on guns, abortion, education and the environment.
Combined with gridlock at the federal level, “where you live now increasingly determines what policies you live under,” said Thad Kousser, professor of political science at UC San Diego.
The Democratic Governors were usually on the defense in close races. Biden’s low approval ratings and inflation woes stoked fears of a “red wave.”
Many democrats won reelection including Gov. Janet Mills in Maine.
That’s significant because the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, survived a close contest to win a second term. He was able to veto more than 140 bills during his first year in office.
In two states, the party solidified its control, Maryland and Massachusetts. In both, the Democratic candidate won an open governorship that a Republican had vacated. Democrats now completely control state government in both states. A triangle is when a single party controls the state house, senate and governor’s office. It will be easier for the Democratic Party to pass agenda items with a trio because of the vetoes that were already passed in both state legislatures.
There will also be a Democratic trifecta in Oregon, where Democrat Tina Kotek emerged victorious on Thursday night out of a close race with Republican Christine Drazan.
The Republicans held more than half the state governorships going into the election. That number will change, although final results are pending in a few states.
Ben Williams of the NSL said that the majority of Americans will be living in states where the Democrats are governors in 2023.
The two Democraticallyaligned outside spending groups put in around 80 million dollars to change that on top of the around 50 million dollars spent by the party itself. Part of the mission was to make sure state legislatures did not work to overturn the results of the next presidential election, as many GOP lawmakers did in 2020.
The party flipped the Michigan state House and the state Senate, a chamber it has not controlled in four decades. That will give Democrats a clear path to enact their agenda items. In her victory speech, Democratic Gov. Whitmer said that would include growing the economy, improving public education, and continuing to “fight like hell” to protect fundamental rights.
In Pennsylvania, Democrats held a press conference to announce their victory. It is possible that McClinton will be the first Black woman to be speaker of the Pennsylvania House.
The state Republican party hasn’t conceded, and the AP hasn’t called all of the races. “We believe Democrats claiming the majority at this time is premature and we are continuing to closely monitor a number of races where votes are still being counted,” Pennsylvania House GOP spokesperson Jason Gottesman told NPR.
Nevada, a state that voted for president Biden in 2020, could still be the place where the GOP pulls off an upset. Gov. Steve Sisolak is trailing Las Vegas area sheriff Joe Lombardo, a Republican, in his bid for reelection. The race has not yet been called by the Associated Press.
But in Arizona, where Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is term-limited, the race is too close to call. As of Friday, former local Fox television anchor Kari Lake and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs are still locked into a tight race. Lake initially wouldn’t say if she would accept the outcome of her race if she lost.
Republicans took control of seats in Florida, the Iowa Senate and the South Carolina House. In Florida and Ohio, the party has veto-proof majorities. Permitless gun carrying and limits on teaching about gender or sexuality in schools are just some of the conservative policy priorities that have already been enacted or proposed.
The same thing happened in another state. The Republicans won a majority in the Senate. But Democrats said they have kept enough seats in the state House to keep the GOP from steamrolling Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
Divided governments like these are becoming rarer. Kousser said that since 2010 the red and blue states have gotten more and more alike.
The CNN Exit Polls: How Joe Biden and Senator Warnock fought for the House and Senate in the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns
The economy was the most important issue of the time, and a small plurality of voters called it their top problem. By roughly a 12-point margin, voters said they trusted the GOP over the Democratic Party to handle inflation.
The Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade brought abortion to the forefront, with 27% of voters saying it was their top issue. 6 in 10 voters felt negatively about the decision while over 4 in 10 expressed anger. Democrats had a roughly 11-point edge over the GOP when it came to which party voters trusted to handle issues related to abortion.
CNN Exit Polls are a combination of in-person interviews with Election Day voters and in-person interviews, telephone and online polls measuring the views of early and absentee by-mail voters. They were conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool. Read more here.
Editor’s Note: David Axelrod, a senior CNN political commentator and host of “The Axe Files,” was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama and chief strategist for the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinions on it.
The politician was Joe Biden, who whispered a salty line to Barack Obama a dozen years ago at the signing of the Affordable Care Act only to have it captured on a hot mic.
If Biden had shouted it from the rooftops of Cambodia where he was, he would have been forgiven for thinking that Masto would win reelection and help Democrats retain control of the Senate.
It was the latest turn in an election that saw Democrats score a number of unexpected victories across the country.
Senate Republicans also were confident going into Election Day about their chances to break the 50-50 deadlock that has given Democrats control of the Senate on the strength of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote. Now Harris’ vote may not even be needed if Democrats and Sen. Raphael Warnock tackle Herschel Walker in the Georgia runoff on December 6 and claim a 51st seat.
Democrats will continue to control the agenda on the Senate floor and in committees, which is no small thing — particularly if Republicans take the House.
The Senate has the sole authority to confirm judicial nominations, which is important in case of a Republican House blocking other major Biden initiatives.
Anyone who doubts this should consider how GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority blocked Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, for eight months in 2016, denying Garland a hearing, much less a vote. McConnell and the same majority speeded then-President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett through in a matter of weeks before the 2020 election.
Barrett and the two other conservative justices Trump named have profoundly reshaped the high court and opened the door to radical decisions such as the ruling that upended abortion rights, a half-century after the Roe v. Wade decision guaranteed them. It’s possible that Democratic victories in Nevada and other states this year may have had something to do with the court decision to overturn abortion rights.
What the Nevada verdict from the 1950 election would have taught about American democracy and the challenges facing our adversaries. A warning against the legacy of Donald Trump, the Prime Minister, and the MAGA fanatical fringe
The prime minister’s wife gave assurances that the 1945 parliamentary elections in Britain would be a blessing in disguise.
The move was predicted by the facts and it was a Republican shift with a Democrat who governs during poor economic indicators. However, in a few keys states and races Democratic candidates outperformed those indicators. The story seems like Republicans defeated themselves relative to the fundamentals by running low-quality candidates in some key races.
The ruling party and President became a judgment of the opposition and its leader, Trump, in this year’s typical referendum. It was a repudiation of election denialism.
That verdict was not lost on some Republican politicians who, out of fear and opportunism, have stuck with Trump despite knowing better. Watching their quick post-primary exodus from his camp, led by Rupert Murdoch and his right-wing media empire, has been something to behold. Losing can’t be allowed but being against democracy and decency can.
Trump’s continued sway with primary voters will hold some Republican politicians in place, since he is an escape artist. They may continue to heed his insistence that any cooperation with Biden in Congress is tantamount to treason. But fear of Trump must now be weighed against the cost of Trump, and the result may be that more Republicans in Congress will have a freer hand to work with Biden on select issues. That would be a blessing for the country, I am not betting on that.
The verdict from Nevada came while Biden was overseas, meeting with his peers from around the world and poised for a sidebar meeting with China’s Xi Jinping.
The President might have been hobbled going into these discussions by a thumping in the midterms. It would have intensified growing doubts among our allies and adversaries about the durability of American democracy and about Biden’s political viability.
The people had their say, thumbed their nose at the purveyors of conventional wisdom and dealt a blow to Trump and extremists and election-denying Republicans.
Begala gave three reasons for his opposition. It undermines Bidens powerful message that Trump leads a mega-MAGA fanatical fringe that is a clear and present danger to our democracy. Trump is still a major force in American politics, especially in the Republican Party. I don’t want Trump anywhere near the White House.” Third, “while I respect the political success of governors like DeSantis, Youngkin, Hogan and Christie, if the Democrats can’t beat them, we don’t deserve the White House.”
If the Democrats really worry about the state of American democracy, they should not take any steps to help Trump get re-elected even if they lose the presidency. The slightly higher probability of holding the presidency with Trump as the G.O.P. nominee is surely outweighed by concerns about the threats to democracy should he win election.
What Will We Learn When Donald Trump is Nominated? A New Perspective on Electoral Elections in South Carolina, Florida and New York
There is not one narrative to come out of this election. While we usually think about nationalization, in this election, we saw quite significant differences across states. Pennsylvania and Michigan, along with Wisconsin and Arizona, actually ended up worse than the pre-election polls suggested. From this perspective, Democrats should be happy. But they did much worse than expected in Florida and New York. So which lesson is the right one?
Conversely, “Republicans may be suffering a representational penalty in rural areas similar to the penalty Democrats have suffered in urban districts,” Trende wrote, noting that
Wronski wrote that the Republicans might not be able to appeal to Trump voters without him on the ballot. The types of voters who are enthusiastic for Trump do not seem equally enthusiastic for his endorsees.”
Moderates and independents were scared off by extremists, but they were not fully animated by their own candidates. They want the candidate to be Donald Trump.
It is a good idea to take comfort in their prospects or be in good shape. The national electorate is polarized with close elections. I think turnout will be much more important than persuasion.
This was in many ways an expected result. The polls and models performed well. Some have pointed out that the Democrats are better off in seats than in votes.
The parties, Tausanovitch continued, “are very evenly matched and this doesn’t look like it is on a path to change quickly. This election was close. I think the presidential election will be very close as well. He acknowledged that Trump-endorsed candidates.
did poorly, but this does not mean that a Trump-centric Republican Party cannot win or that Trump himself cannot win. He had a chance to do it in 2020. The election will be close if he is the nominee.
Republican Party elites are, in turn, increasingly voicing their concerns over the prospect of a 2024 Trump bid. I asked Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster, what would happen if Trump is the nominee, and he replied by email: “Assuming that the economy is out of the ditch by the end of ’23, I would have to believe a Trump nomination would be devastating.”
The Rise and Fall of Kevin McCarthy: Why is he or he not going to be able to become a speaker of the House of Representatives?
Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is far from assured of winning sufficient support in his party to become House speaker next month. Even though he’s in an office, his authority is starting to weaken, making him a speaker who is not in power.
The tiny GOP House majority that takes over in January, after a disappointing midterm performance, would mean a fragile governing mandate for any party at any point in American history. And the ideological struggle being waged by pro-Donald Trump extremists inside the party would have made even a more comfortable majority volatile.
The California Republican is fighting a rearguard battle against members who want to make it easier to eject a sitting speaker and he’s appeasing ex-President Donald Trump’s extremism and that of acolytes like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to save a narrow political power base propping up his dream of running the House.
The rise of McCarthy as the rising star of the Republican Party has been marked by his aggressive defiance of the Make America Great Again movement and his desire for sound bites to be used as badges of honor.
This is one reason why the current year-end tussle over whether to fund the government for a full year – a bipartisan framework agreement for which was announced Tuesday night – or for just a few months is so critical since it could dump a fiscal crisis on the lap of a weak and easily manipulated new speaker next month.
McCarthy can point to a useful political situation in that the Democrats should be able to pass a broader funding deal in the final days of their majority. Senate Republicans and Democrats announced the framework agreement on an omnibus appropriations bill on Tuesday.
So showing voters in 2024 that GOP governance addressed key problems like inflation and the economy will be important. But while he has announced he will form a select committee to examine China’s growing threat, which could unite both parties, most of McCarthy’s recent rhetoric has focused on a relentless set of investigations of the Biden administration and conservatives’ interest in impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
McCarthy said that she thought that she was being facetious when she said “she was being facetious”. His attitude was not a surprise, as his attempts to rewrite the history of the worst attack on US democracy in modern times, for which he briefly said Trump bore responsibility, was consistent with it.
The same dynamic was at play when McCarthy declined to directly criticize the ex-president for meeting with white supremacist Nick Fuentes at a dinner also featuring Kanye West, the rapper now known as Ye, who has recently made a string of antisemitic remarks. In a histrionic performance at the White House after meeting Biden and other congressional leaders last month, the House Republican leader falsely claimed that Trump had condemned Fuentes four times, when he hadn’t done so once.
At the White House meeting, McCarthy signaled that he would be open to a large bill, according to CNN. While Senate Republican leaderMitch McConnell was working on a measure that was “broadly appealing,” McCarthy told his members that he was against it.
The split not only augurs likely future tensions between Republicans in the House and McConnell, it raises the possibility that it will become politically more difficult for some Republican senators to vote for a spending deal now – especially as conservative media has taken up McCarthy’s line.
The fact that there is not a strong alternative to his candidacy is something that the California Republican does have going for him. The former head of the Freedom Caucus has launched a long-shot bid.
It would have been fun for many Democratic politicians to see the nonsense in the Santos saga, and they would have been able to mock the chaos and move on. But the new congressman, now under investigation by local and federal authorities, was instead a crucial cog in Kevin McCarthy’s House majority, having flipped the redrawn Third Congressional District in New York, an area that had been represented by Democrats for decades, by eight points.
These disappointments have cast into sharp relief both the divisions within the party and the peculiar void of the state’s Democratic organization itself. Few New Yorkers cared, until late 2022, that the statewide Democratic apparatus operated, for the most part, as a hollowed-out appendage of the governor, a second campaign account that did little, if any, work in terms of messaging and turnout. New Hampshire, a state with roughly half the population of Queens, has a Democratic Party with 16 full-time paid staff members. New York’s has four, according to the state chairman, Jay Jacobs. One helps maintain social media accounts that update only sparingly. Most state committee members have no idea where the party keeps its headquarters, or if it even has one. (It does, at 50 Broadway in Manhattan.)