Friday, November 11, 2022


I'm not the biggest fan of Sean Patrick Maloney, the center-leaning chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose job it was to help get House Democrats reelected but who lost his own race this year. Maloney is probably right, though, about why he lost his race, and why other New York Democrats, including Governor Kathy Hochul, lost or struggled to win, while Democrats elsewhere in the country exceeded expectations:
... look, voters in New York have been told by the News Corporation machine, principally The New York Post, that crime is the No. 1 issue. In the suburbs, it certainly had an effect. In my own race, of course, $10 million was spent echoing those themes. But it may not just be that. I don’t know.

... New York is home to the fiercest outlet in the News Corporation fear machine. In fairness to the governor, she and the rest of us have to contend with the hysteria of The New York Post and of Fox News combined. But if you look at her own race, they clearly understood they had to answer the charges and began to do so late.

We just didn’t see this problem in Pennsylvania or Michigan, or Minnesota, or Wisconsin, where Democratic statewide candidates performed very well and, of course, had positive effects down ballot.
That's from a New York Times interview. There's also this, in a separate Times story:
... the narrative that voters had largely rejected candidates aligned with Mr. Trump and his rejection of the 2020 election was shattered in New York....

Republicans flipped four House seats held by Democrats, and some of the incoming congressmen have embraced hard-right positions....

Republicans’ major gains came in Nassau County, the portion of Long Island closest to New York City. Voters there have chosen Democrats in every presidential election since 1992, and Mr. Biden won the county by 9.5 percentage points over Mr. Trump.

In the Third District in Nassau, the Democratic candidate, Robert Zimmerman, focused his campaign on the avid support that his Republican opponent, George Santos, gave to Mr. Trump. He pointed in particular to Mr. Santos’s presence in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Voters still sided with Mr. Santos, a businessman who was leading Mr. Zimmerman by more than eight percentage points as of Thursday....

Further east, in a district that leans more conservative, Nicholas LaLota, the chief of staff for the Suffolk County Legislature, won the election for the First Congressional District.

Mr. LaLota’s victory followed a primary in which he trumpeted being a “trusted Trump conservative.”
And also:

The Murdoch message that crime is worse than ever -- which is laughable to those of us who accurately remember what the city was like from the 1970s through the early 1990s -- was spread by two Murdoch outlets, one of which, the Post, is read by people who aren't necessarily right-wing. It was spread by the nominally Democratic mayor of the city, Eric Adams, who was a city cop when crime was worse and should know better. And crime has always been the main focus of local TV news, even on stations that don't have a political agenda.

It's not just the right's anti-Democratic messaging, of course. The New York Democratic Party has grown complacent and wasn't ready for hard-fought race. The top public official in the state party, Governor Hochul, was an accidental governor and isn't the most compelling political motivator. And yes, there have been some unsettling and baroque crimes in the city recently (though there were unsettling crimes even in the lowest-crime years).

The Murdoch family set out to blow up the election with crime fearmongering, and there wasn't much damage except right here, where the bomb went off.

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