Political pundits agree Democrats had a great night at the polls on Tuesday, but the real experts – not the TV pundits or social media influencers, but actual experts who study the numbers and the history down to the smallest details, are saying Democrats had a great night.
The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is nothing to celebrate. Women will die as a result. Many unwanted children will be born as a result. Families will grow poorer as a result. Women’s careers will suffer as a result. And many women have lost and will continue to lose the right to bodily autonomy.
But the Supreme Court turning a woman’s right to choose into a political issue has fired up women, and Democratic voters, and those who are deciding they can no longer vote for Republicans after the GOP’s 50-year push to take away the constitutional right to abortion succeeded.
As in any election, it’s always about enthusiasm.
Many are pointing to New York’s 19th congressional district (NY-19), the former district of Democrat Antonio Delgado, who resigned to become Lt. Governor. Many pundits thought Republicans would win that special election Tuesday night, but Democrat Pat Ryan (photo) won with a healthy 51.9% of the vote.
Pointing to the NY-19 race, Karen Defilippi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Deputy Executive Director for Campaigns and Political offers these insights that should please Democrats:
“There are 222 House seats better than NY19 by Biden performance,” she writes. “Republicans spent heavily to lose,” and “This is the 4th House special election in a row where Dems have outperformed Biden.”
G. Elliott Morris, The Economist’s data journalist concurs, writing, “Tonight makes 4 federal special elections since June with a strong Dem overperformance. There is simply no denying that we are in a significantly more Democratic environment than November 2021.”
Daniel Nichanian, the Editor-in-Chief of Bolts Magazine, which covers “the nuts and bolts of power and political change, from the local up,” and is a total numbers guy, says NY-19 “isn’t the sort of district Dems are meant to hold in a red wave.”
And MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki agrees. “This is not the result you would see in a strongly Republican climate.”
Kornacki: NBC News has just called it. Pat Ryan has been elected to Congress… This is a significant victory for Democrats nationally.. This is not the result you would see in a strongly Republican climate pic.twitter.com/sHsaIiw3Lj
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 24, 2022
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter adds: “It’s not going to be much of a red wave at all if Republicans can’t win in districts like this.”
Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor of the Cook Political Report calls it “a huge victory for Dems in a bellwether, Biden +1.5 district.”
Wasserman, who is highly-respected and a pure numbers guy Tuesday night said: “Lots of focus on Dems being more engaged/energetic post-Dobbs,” meaning after the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, “which is undeniably true.”
“But to me, the GOP/Trump base appears less engaged than it was last November, which is just as big a part of the story.”
Sarah Palin is back, but she did not get good news Tuesday. Palin is running in a special election that was held August 16. They’re still counting the votes.
“The even better news for Dems tonight is that Mary Peltola’s (D) lead over Sarah Palin (R) in the #AKAL special election just stretched to over 13k votes, giving Peltola a better chance of winning when Nick Begich’s (R) second-choice votes are tabulated next week,” Wasserman writes.
Bottom line on that: At the moment, it looks like a Democratic former state lawmaker will beat Republican Sarah Palin in her home state of Alaska, where she served as governor and was the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee.
If so, that would mean Democrats will have won five federal special elections in a row.
Finally, here’s Politico’s take:
“A New York special election seen as the last, best test of the electorate’s midterm leanings confirmed what Democrats hoped and Republicans feared: Predictions of a red wave may be overblown.”