Democrats Make Excuses After Republican Victories in NY

( The Republicans not only have Florida to thank for retaking the majority in the House. They also owe their thanks to voters in deep blue New York State.

Despite Republican Lee Zeldin falling short in his race against Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul, the enthusiasm for Zeldin’s campaign boosted turnout among Republican and Independent voters eager to be rid of the unpopular Hochul. These voters helped flip four congressional districts red, including the district held by Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Democrat losses in New York have led to some finger-pointing among many of the party’s high-profile figures who have blamed everything from redistricting to the weak, unpopular Kathy Hochul.

In an interview with the New York Times last Thursday, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed “big money and old-school, calcified machine-style politics” in the New York Democrat Party leadership, arguing that the state’s “overreliance and insistence on leaning into Republican narratives on crime” hurt New York Democrats in the midterms.

Sean Patrick Maloney separately told the Times that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “had almost nothing to do” with the Democrat Party’s showing in the House, claiming AOC only offered some financial support to battleground candidates.

Maloney told the Times that the Republican messaging on crime may have resonated with New York voters. He also suggested that enthusiasm for Lee Zeldin’s campaign increased voter turnout.

A former aide to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Jon Reinish, also believes New York voters, especially those in New York City, were motivated by the Republicans’ emphasis on crime. Reinish said the ads focusing on crime and safety “rallied” voters in swing counties to vote against the Democrats. The consistency of that message was “persuadable,” Reinish said, adding “it was hard to recover from that.”

Meanwhile, Basil Smikle, the former executive director of the New York Democrat Party laid the blame on the “chaos of redistricting” coupled with Kathy Hochul’s lack of coattails.