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HomeNEWSThe Republican push is skeptical in New York, the stronghold of Democrats

The Republican push is skeptical in New York, the stronghold of Democrats



Mark Lawler, the Republican who is seeking a congressional ticket to represent the 17th District in the House of Representatives in New York, predicts about the election: “It’s going to be a massive change.” The candidate takes a break from the hustle and bustle of the last leg of the campaign for ABC and explains one of the great keys to Tuesday’s US legislative elections: the deterioration of Democrats in strongholds like the one in which he was competing, which could cause Congress to overturn. Lawler should have it all against him on this date with the polls. A young 36-year-old with only two years experience in the state legislature, he faces a Democratic heavyweight: Sean Maloney, a congressman for a decade and chair of the powerful committee. of the Campaign for Congress (DCCC), the organization responsible for distributing funds and recruiting candidates across the country. The area they contest, north of New York City, on both banks of the Hudson River, halfway between the rural countryside, the big city suburb and the industrial district, is a Democratic district. Not like the largest American city and its immediate suburbs, but no Republican representative in Congress has come from here since the early 1980s. Opinion polls before the Supreme Court governing abortion Javier Ansurina. That these issues will help them maintain their slim majority in Congress. The confrontation between Maloney and Lawler is one of those confrontations that will go unnoticed in any election, an area that everyone knows will fall into the hands of the Democratic Party and does not require much campaigning effort. Everything is different this year and this enclave of New York is a symptom of the hardships Democrats may be going through on Tuesday: Everything suggests they will lose their majority in the House of Representatives — the question is how hard the defeat will be. And prospects for retaining the Senate worsen as the campaign progresses. “Up in the Air” alarm bells sounded in the Democratic Party when Cook Political Report, one of the leading organizations in election analysis, called the 17th District “in the air” last month, favoring Democrats throughout the campaign. “I knew this area wasn’t going to be easy for Democrats from the start,” Lawler says. “Joe Biden won here by ten points. But 50% of households have members of the security forces, emergency services, fire department or military veteran,” he says of the incumbent’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. It’s a reference to one of the issues that has dominated the campaign, here and in much of the country: increasing insecurity. Violent crime has skyrocketed since the pandemic, and New Yorkers fear subway assault cases. Added to this are calls to cut police funding – or even ‘eliminate’ it – by some Democrats in the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020 and reforms to ease bail for criminals. “Voters are tired of ‘wake up’ policies that make their communities more dangerous,” Lawler says. The upshot: The “Democrats go easy on crime” message is devastating. Added to this, as in the rest of the country, is the economic situation, and the rising inflation that Americans feel every day. “Voters here are focusing the most on these two issues: the economy and security,” Lawler says. Democrats have bet heavily on others, like abortion. That may be the case in another election where the Republican bell will be bigger: the New York gubernatorial election. It has been in the hands of Democrats since 2006, after George Pataki withdrew. The preferred candidate is the current governor, Cathy Hochhol, who succeeded Andrew Cuomo last year, plagued by sexual assault scandals. Closing the gap Hoechul still leads in the polls, but far less than expected. In the summer, he came close to 18 points from his Republican challenger, Lee Zelden, a congressman who was never given a real chance. As with Maloney-Lawler, that has changed. Polls now put Zeldin a few points behind Hochhol, who has focused on attacking him for his restrictive stance on abortion and his closeness to Donald Trump. That strategy didn’t work, and in recent weeks Hoechul has sought to get his message across to security — he’s ordered more cops in transportation services — and the economy. We’ll have to see if that doesn’t happen too late. The weakness of the Democratic candidates meant, unlike in this election, that New York became an important electoral front. The weakness of the Democratic candidates made New York a major campaign front. Last month, President Joe Biden came twice for his campaign appearances, both times in disputed counties in upstate New York, such as Lawler County. This particular Sunday he came back here to support Hochul. But other heavyweights appeared in the party, such as Hillary Clinton or Kamala Harris. Even Jill Biden, the first lady, traveled to New York to help raise money. It’s hard to know whether Biden — whose popularity rating has fallen to Harris — whose running for president only made her unpopular — or Clinton, the losing candidate in the 2016 presidential election — will lift morale in New York. “New Yorkers have seen what comes from being under the control of one party,” Lawler says of Democrats. For the citizen of this state, the president, both houses of Congress, its governor, state legislatures and the mayor of its largest city are in the hands of the Democrats. “Everything is a mess and people want change.” It’s nothing unique to New York. Democrats are also at risk in their other strongholds, in liberal states like Oregon, Washington, Rhode Island or California. Opinion polls will decide whether to withstand Republican onslaught this year.

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