A New York special election this week seen as the last and best test of the electorate’s midterm leanings confirmed what Democrats have been hoping for and Republicans are fearing.
The predictions of a red wave for the upcoming 2022 midterm elections may well be overblown. A big democratic win in New York has signaled the power of the abortion issue in the Midterm vote.
Democrat Pat Ryan defeated Republican Marc Molinaro 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent, with 99 percent of the vote counted. It comes after a hard-fought election for an open seat in the state’s 19th Congressional District, which covers part of the Hudson Valley and Catskills Mountain region.
The area is known as a bellwether. The district in Presidential elections can be seen especially as a forecast calling the outcome of that election, as it voted for Barack Obama in 2012, Donald Trump in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020.
What would typically be a local state election took on outsized national importance and became seen as a massive testing ground for the two parties’ campaign strategies. Ryan made abortion and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn national abortion rights a center to his campaign.
And it showed that Nebraska was not a fluke after Democrats ran better than expected in a House race there in July. Then after Nebraska came Minnesota, where Democrats once again beat expectations. Experts say this election in New York shows the dam has broken.
Experts say it shows the winds are appearing to shift in the Democrats’ favor.
This week, voters cast ballots in state primaries in New York, Florida, and Oklahoma to choose their party nominees for the midterms on November 8 this year. It will ultimately determine the balance of power in Congress in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election.
Analysts say that while typically people are tempted to read too much into special elections, the New York election this week shows how Roe shook the political landscape.
That being said, Trump is still rolling, with the former president dominating the midterm cycle. A House race in Florida this week showed even more clearly how much Republicans are willing to stomach to service the former leader and his biggest, most die-hard allies.
Trump’s favorite Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had sex with a 17-year-old girl, making her a minor, and paid her for it. But this did not dent his MAGA celebrity even a smidge and beat his closest opponent by a whopping amount.