Six takeaways from the New York and Florida races on Tuesday

A series of contests Tuesday in New York and Florida provided valuable clues about the landscape of the 2022 midterm elections. They also crystallized which prominent Democrats are set to return to Congress and featured a clash between the Republican establishment figures and far-right party agitators.

Here are six takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries and election:

Abortion message galvanizes Democrats: Pat Ryan’s stunning victory in a House of Representatives special election highlights the ability of Democrats to weaponize abortion rights to get voters to vote.

It was the biggest test of the issue’s political significance since Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices overturned Roe v. Wade in June, allowing state lawmakers to ban abortion. Ryan brought the issue to the fore in the Purple Quarter, linking it to a larger battle for “freedom” in the United States.

The message proved powerful. Republican candidate Marc Molinaro has sought unsuccessfully to neutralize the issue and turn the election into a referendum on “one-party” Democratic rule, inflation and crime, a cocktail of messages on which the GOP relies this autumn.

Within a year, many Republicans predicted he would produce a “red wave,” Ryan surpassed President Joe Biden’s narrow margin of victory in 2022, with 99% of the vote counted. The district closely mirrored the national mood, and after the results were screened, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney described Roe’s downfall as the cataclysmic event that will keep Democrats in the driving seat. Chamber, despite the historical trend in the medium term of the president’s party loses seats.

New York redistricting chaos sinks prominent Democrats: The jumbled map of Congress in New York has pitted many Democrats against each other. The most powerful lawmaker to lose on Tuesday was Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight Committee, who lost to Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the Judiciary Committee, after their Upper West and Upper East Side neighborhoods were merged.

In addition, Rep. Mondaire Jones’ first-term hopes of staying in Congress were quickly fading as he trailed two rivals in a crowded primary for New York’s redesigned 10th congressional district starting midday Wednesday. The race is still too close to announce, according to NBC News.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, praised Jones on Wednesday as “a respected progressive voice on Capitol Hill and a fierce fighter for working families,” and said he “leaves a legacy of principle for his short time in Congress”.

Apart from them, other New York Democrats fended off major challengers and qualified for the general election, including Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney and Jamaal Bowman. It was largely a self-inflicted injury to the state party after an earlier map drawn to maximize its partisan gains was rejected by the courts.

Image:
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, DN.Y. speaks during a press conference at the Capitol on November 16, 2022.Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call via AP File

Progressives are self-destructing in lower Manhattan: The 10th District Democratic primary was a battle for Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, one of the most progressive districts in the entire country. But the Progressives may have fumbled a wide-open layup by offering a crowded field of candidates and paving the way for the relatively more moderate Daniel Goldman.

With 98% of the votes counted, Goldman, a former federal prosecutor, was in the lead with 25.7%, ahead of three progressive candidates (including Jones) who garnered nearly 59% of the vote.

Fears of the left’s inability to consolidate were voiced ahead of the primary, but many candidates refused to give up. (NBC News has yet to project a winner in the race.)

Right flamethrowers fail: Some of the most controversial candidates in the The GOP primary ballot did not advance.

In Florida’s 11th congressional district, Laura Loomer, the self-proclaimed Islamophobe who is banned from Facebook, Twitter and even Uber Eats, failed to challenge Rep. Daniel Webster. In New York’s 2nd Congressional District, Representative Andrew Garbarino, whom former President Donald Trump repeatedly lambasted after backing the bipartisan infrastructure package and the independent commission to investigate the 6 January against the Capitol, easily defeated a challenge from veteran Robert Cornicelli, who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged.

In New York’s 23rd District, state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy beat Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, best known for his string of inflammatory and racist statements over the past 12 years. including a newly discovered interview he gave last year in which he declared that Hitler was “the kind of leader we need today”. He later said the comments were “a serious mistake” but had been taken out of context.

The problems have been compounded by a trio of state house-level losses by candidates who have captured national attention in recent days. In Oklahoma, Jarrin Jackson and Scott Esk lost after coming under scrutiny for anti-Semitic and homophobic comments. In Florida, Luis Miguel was crushed by his opponent after claiming to have a plan that would allow Floridians to shoot federal agents on the spot.

Paladino’s loss also represents a major defeat for Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 Republican, who supported him: Stefanik, RN.Y., threw his weight behind Paladino’s candidacy for Congress almost immediately after Rep. Chris Jacobs, RN.Y., resigned from the seat this year, seeking to flex his political muscles in his state of origin. But the bet has shown the limits of its powers. The endorsement was meant to show his dominance over New York’s GOP, particularly with regard to Langworthy, the state party’s chairman. Instead, Langworthy is about to sit in Congress and Stefanik has to explain what went wrong. Meanwhile, the endorsement caused consternation among others in the GOP leadership, given Paladino’s well-documented history of making inflammatory and racist comments, as NBC News reported in June.

To complicate matters, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., chairman of the influential Republican study committee and potential rival to Stefanik for a leadership position in the next Congress, backed Langworthy. The banks were quick to celebrate victory.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gets his re-election nominee – but remains focused on President Joe Biden: The year 2024 tops the list in Florida’s 2022 gubernatorial contest, especially when it comes to Governor Ron DeSantis’ potential run for president. In a speech he gave near Miami on Tuesday, DeSantis chose to focus not on Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., who won the Democratic gubernatorial primary earlier in the night, but on Biden.

“With your strong exit in November, we will send a message to this man in the White House that we stand against his destructive policies, and Florida will be the vanguard of freedom in this country,” DeSantis said, according to to local NBC affiliate WPTV.

The races DeSantis responded to were way off the ballot — he endorsed a slate of 30 candidates for the school board that he says are in line with his education program. Most of them won or qualified for a second round.

The Florida primary came just days after DeSantis traveled to Pittsburgh and near Youngstown, Ohio, to replace Doug Mastriano, the GOP candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, and JD Vance, the Republican candidate. in the Ohio Senate. And DeSantis, who led Crist in the polls ahead of the primary, also cut a campaign ad this week posing as “Top Gov,” in a portrayal of Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun” character.

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