We Just Saw A Stunning Special Election Result. What Could It Mean For November?

by | Aug 24, 2022 | Politics

This article is part of HuffPost’s biweekly politics newsletter. Click here to subscribe.The big political news today is Tuesday’s Democratic win in a special congressional election.The big political question today is what that win tells us about November.The special election took place to fill a vacancy in New York’s 19th District, and it looks like the winner is Pat Ryan, a Democratic county executive who — as of this writing — has 51.1% of the vote with 92% of precincts reporting. The networks and professional analysts have all called the race for him.Ryan will hold that seat for only a few months because the current iteration of the 19th District will disappear in November, when the latest round of redistricting takes effect. That makes Tuesday’s victory largely a “symbolic” one, as HuffPost’s Daniel Marans noted in his write-up.AdvertisementBut it’s a pretty important symbol.The 19th covers a swath of mostly suburban and rural country in the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions, north of New York City and south of Albany. It is a classic bellwether district, having voted narrowly for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election and then narrowly for Joe Biden in 2020.Along the way, it sent a Republican to Congress in 2016 and elected a Democrat two years later, as part of the 2018 “blue wave.” The assumption going into this special election was that Biden’s poor approval ratings would translate into another switch, with the district sending a Republican to Congress once again.The GOP nominee was Marc Molinaro, a popular local politician and former gubernatorial candidate who was focusing his campaign on inflation and crime, problems he blamed on the Biden administration. It seemed like a winning strategy — until June, when the Supreme Court ended the right to abortion in America with its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.Ryan made abortion rights almost the primary focus of his campaign, using the Dobbs decision to paint Republicans as extremists and tying it to broader themes of freedom.Advertisement“How can we be a free country if the government tries to control women’s bodies?” he said in a 30-second ad touting his background as a West Point graduate and his service in Iraq. “That’s not the country I fought to defend.”Ryan also emphasized the importance of making a statement to the nation, telling The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel that ​​“this has to be a national referendum on Roe. It’s our first chance to send this message, that the country is not going to tolerate this erosion of our fundamental rights.”The message has been sent. But it’s still only August. The future of abortion rights in many states ― and maybe the nation as a whole ― will depend on what happens in the midterm elections.What, if anything, does this special election result tell us about that?It’s impossible to be sure. But here are a few possibilities, based on conversations with half a dozen pollsters and analysts.The Case For Democratic Optimism The biggest reason to think the New York outcom …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This