Corporate media claim Dems’ NY special election win is a ‘significant victory’ heading into midterms. Is it?

Corporate media is desperate to control the narrative heading into November going so far as to dub Tuesday’s special election in New York “a significant victory for Democrats” while leaving out some critical facts about the state’s new congressional boundaries.

(Video: MSNBC)

On Tuesday, county executives Pat Ryan (D-Ulster) and Mark Molinaro (R-Dutchess) went head-to-head in NY’s 19th congressional district to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) who went on to become the lieutenant governor. With an estimated 99 percent of the ballots counted before midnight Tuesday, NBC News called the race for Ryan as “significant” for “Democrats nationally.”

MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki explained, “With what appears to be left in the district, that is an incredibly steep hill to climb for Molinaro, to make up basically 3,300 votes with what we know to be left in this district right now. Pat Ryan, the Democrat is in a–there it is. NBC News has just called it.”

During the broadcast, Ryan had slightly more than 51 percent and Molinaro trailed with just under 49 percent.

“This is a significant victory, not just for Pat Ryan in this district, this is a significant victory for Democrats nationally because it gets to the heart of the question that we’ve been asking politically for the last two months and that is whether the political climate in this country has changed,” Kornacki stated, “specifically in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.”

“In a midterm climate that the Republicans have been saying all year that we live in, in a strong Republican midterm climate, this special election would’ve been a layup for the Republicans,” he went on as he contended polls had Molinaro leading by almost 10 percentage points.

Others on social media harped on this detail as well.

A key fact disregarded in the analysis that the New York Post had reported on in the lead-up to the special election was that, while Molinaro had a lead of 10 points in some polls among decided voters, 11 percent had been undecided. At the time of this posting, the NY State Board of Elections showed the margin had closed to just shy of 3,000 votes.

Kornacki declared, “I think this is the clearest, this is the strongest piece of evidence yet–and there have been other pieces of evidence in the last few weeks–to suggest that the national political climate has shifted away from a Republican advantage toward a more neutral climate, a neutral climate that gives Democrats a chance, certainly of holding on to the Senate, potentially to hold on to the House of Representatives.”

However, another important fact left out was that the congressional map of New York State is changing come November when the current 19th congressional district will no longer exist. Ryan plans to run for the Democrat-leaning 18th district in November, according to Hudson Valley One, whereas Molinaro will once again be running for the 19th congressional district.

That reality likely hampered the enthusiasm for the special election to hold a seat for the remaining four months of 2022. Compared to the 2020 election where more than 350,000 of the district’s currently registered 476,000 voters came out to give now-President Joe Biden a slight edge over then-President Donald Trump in a district he had won in 2016 but former President Barack Obama had won twice, Tuesday’s special election only managed to garner roughly 130,000 voters.


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Kevin Haggerty


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