GOP Loses NY Special Election They Should Have Won – Is It A Wake Up Call?

GOP Loses NY Special Election They Should Have Won - Is It A Wake Up Call?
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Republicans in New York got a big reminder on Tuesday night that nothing is written in stone. In a special election, Democrat Pat Ryan beat Republican Marc Molinaro 52%-48% to keep New York’s 19th Congressional District blue.

It is a district that by all accounts, and in a midterm year, the GOP should have been able to flip. In 2016, Donald Trump won it by seven points, and in 2020, Joe Biden won it by two points.

It is in a rural area in a cycle where traditionally the President’s party loses seats, and that in several polls leading up to the election, Ryan trailed by double digits.

Combined with the danger Republicans have in must-win Senate seats, conservatives should realize that they cannot take 2022 for granted. 

The Democrats sure aren’t. They’re hyped up:

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The State Of Things

The special election was held to fill the seat vacated by Antonio Delgado, who was picked by Gov. Kathy Hochul to become Lieutenant Governor. Pat Ryan will have to run for reelection in November, but he will do it with the strength of incumbency behind him.

Ryan based his campaign around abortion and the overturning of Roe v. Wade, at a time when Americans are dealing with 40-year high inflation, and skyrocketing gas and food prices. And he won.

Complacency never ends well, and Republicans might do well to stick a finger in the air to see if they are correct about which way the political winds are blowing. Are they confident that, as New York goes, so goes the nation, and more people than they think will turn out to be one issue (abortion, climate change, etc.) voters?

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GOP Counting Chickens?

While there are still many pundits who are predicting a very good election night for Republicans, the New York election should be a huge jolt against thinking the election is a done deal.

The House might still look good, but the Senate is certainly no slam dunk. There are several key races where the GOP is not doing well. In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson is down 50%-46%. In Arizona, Blake Masters is down 50%-42% against Democrat incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly.

In Georgia, Herschel Walker trails Sen. Raphael Warnock 46%-42%. In Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz is trailing far-left Lt. Gov. John Fetterman for that Senate seat. At least in Pennsylvania, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund PAC will infuse $9.5 million into the Pennsylvania race. 

If Mitch McConnell cannot free himself of his preoccupation with “candidate quality,” Republicans will have to do some fast thinking if they are serious about taking the Senate.

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Not Supposed To Happen

As stated before, the traditional wisdom goes that the President’s party usually loses House and Senate seats in the midterm election. But a funny thing happened on the way to the election this year. 

According to a Real Clear Politics report, last week, in their Generic Congressional Vote average, Democrats creeped ahead of Republicans slightly by 0.2%. It didn’t last long; Republicans reclaimed the lead.

The point is, that doesn’t usually happen. In fact, in the last four months, which would include the Roe v. Wade decision, there has been a 4.6% shift in the average towards Democrats.

Could it also have to do with things like never ending investigations into former President Donald Trump, slightly lower gas prices, and a smattering of legislation Democrats refer to as “victories?” Sure. Does it happen often, no. But the point is, it happened, and it should get the attention of every Republican. 

The New York special election has made Democrats giddy at the thought of their 2022 prospects. Let’s hope Republicans stir themselves and pop that bubble.

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