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DCCC Leader Finds Himself in 'Deep Danger' as Cook Political Report Shifts Race to 'Toss Up'

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul isn’t the only Democrat now in a surprisingly competitive race with their Republican opponent. In the state’s newly redrawn 17th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney faces a tougher-than-expected fight against state assemblyman Michael Lawler.


The Cook Political Report recently shifted the race from “lean Democrat” to “toss up” in what’s being described as a "midterm shock" by Axios. If the outcome doesn't go as Maloney hopes, he'll be the first chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to lose reelection to a Republican in 40 years.

“Maloney finds himself in deep danger, simultaneously fighting for his political life in the Hudson Valley seat and desperately trying to prevent Democrats from being swept out of the House majority,” Cook’s David Wasserman writes. “The CLF and NRCC have outspent Democratic groups $3.5 million to $384,000 so far, and the climate for Democrats in the state has deteriorated in the last few weeks as GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin has surged in the governor’s race."

While a favorable outcome for Lawler would certainly be historic, he told National Review that it would also "be a harbinger of what is to come on Election Night, if we're able to flip a district like this, that is labeled a D+3, by Cook."

The lower Hudson Valley district is a “pure suburban district” and “very much a blue-collar working class” area, where 50 percent of households have a cop, firefighter, first-responder, or veteran living there, he said. Lawler believes his messaging on public safety and cost of living has been resonating in the area, where he said national issues are “amplified” in many respects.

Redistricting means that Maloney only currently represents 25 percent of the residents that will be in the newly drawn district, stripping him of the typical incumbent advantage. Lawler represents about 20 percent of the district in the state assembly as a first-term assemblyman. (National Review)


Maloney, for his part, says the GOP is wasting its money on Lawler, though he has acknowledged the race is tight and the DCCC jumped in with a last-minute $600,000 ad buy trying to save its own leader. 

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