Democrats in New York state are struggling in their races against GOP opponents, casting doubts on their original goal of picking up seats. A scenario of losing seats is becoming more likely.
A new report indicates that “national trends” are to blame, along with “lackluster recruiting and faltering campaigns by Democrats.”
Having an unpopular President who recently declared that “every single one” of his policies are on the ballot this fall isn’t helping matters for his Democrat colleagues.
Via the Daily News:
It’s not shaping up to be a very good year for Democrats in New York State congressional races.
Hopes that Democrats harbored a year ago to gain up to three seats in New York are gone. They’ll be lucky to break even and are more likely to lose three races.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel of Long Island calls New York a “microcosm” for the rest of the country, mirroring a national political landscape where President Obama’s unpopularity leaves his party hoping to simply limit Republican gains.
“If Democrats are ever going to win back the House, they need to pick up seats in upstate New York,” said David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the Cook Political Report.
That isn’t happening this year.
Several races are highlighted by the report:
NY-01 and NY-24: “On Friday, the Rothenberg Political Report, a respected election handicapper, moved its rating for Long Island Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop’s reelection bid against Republican state Sen. Lee Zeldin to “toss-up,” from “leans Dem.” Rothenberg said it may soon shift Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) to “tossup” status due to a tightening race against John Katko, a former prosecutor.”
NY-19: “Democrats last year had high hopes Sean Eldridge, husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, could use his wealth and a slight Democratic edge in the 19th Congressional District to defeat Gibson. Instead Eldridge, who is just 28 and seems to have moved to the district to run for Congress, was quickly cast as a rich carpetbagger. Gibson, a low-profile military veteran from the area with a moderate voting record, appears to have gained popularity from the challenge.”
NY-21: “In northern New York’s 21st Congressional District, vacated by retiring Dem Rep. Bill Owens, handicappers have begun calling Republican Elise Stefanik, 30, a clear favorite to become the youngest woman in Congress.”
NY-23: “Democratic hopes of challenging Republican incumbents like Reps. Chris Gibson or Tom Reed in districts Obama won or nearly won have collapsed.”
NRCC spokesman Ian Prior issued the following statement:
Democrats’ chances of picking up seats in New York have been sunk by President Obama’s disastrous policies, strong Republican incumbents, and recruiting flops like Sean Eldridge, Aaron Woolf, and Martha Robertson. Meanwhile, weak Democrat incumbents are facing tough challenges from Lee Zeldin, John Katko, and Nan Hayworth, while Elise Stefanik is primed to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. All in all, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel’s biggest failure this November may just come in his own backyard – New York.
Obama’s policies are viewed unfavorably by many Americans, including New Yorkers, and the results are sure to be reflected at the ballot box.
A new Fox News poll indicates that on a personal level, only 24% of Americans believe their family is better off than when Obama took over for George Bush in 2008.
As for his actual policies, 54% wish that Obamacare never passed, 53% disapprove of his handling of terrorism, 55% disapprove of his economic policies, 53% disapprove of his dealing with Iraq, 54% with Syria, and 55% oppose his foreign policy in general.
In all, 52% of Americans disapprove of the way the President is doing his job, a number that is likely to rise after his handling of the Ebola case on American soil, something Obama recently said would be an “unlikely event.”