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Some Pundits Now Project Sean Patrick Maloney Will Be First DCCC Chair To Lose Seat In 40 Years

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (left) and Assemblyman Mike Lawler
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (left) and Assemblyman Mike Lawler Photo Credit: Facebook/Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Mike Lawler

As Democrats across the country brace for what many political pundits say could be a great night for Republicans,  five-term New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is facing a tough battle to win the newly drawn 17th District.

Maloney, who has served as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) since 2021, trailed his Republican opponent, Assemblyman Mike Lawler, by six points, 46 to 52 percent, in one poll taken in late October 2022, Forbes reports

In the weeks leading up to the election, Cook Political Report changed its rating on the 17th District race from “lean Democratic” to “toss-up.”

The 17th District includes all of Rockland County and portions of central and northwestern Westchester County.

Should Lawler win, Maloney would become the first DCCC chair to lose a re-election bid since Rep. Jim Corman was unseated in California in 1980.

Maloney’s campaign has declined to share its internal polling, but acknowledged in a statement that the race “is and always has been competitive, just like the five others Maloney won previously."

Maloney has decried Lawler as a “MAGA” candidate, criticizing his position on limiting abortion, and has alleged racism and antisemitism following political ads that supported Lawler’s campaign. Lawler has denied the accusations.

In criticizing Maloney, Lawler has tied him to President Joe Biden and New York’s bail reform, which Republicans blame for rising crime in the state.

The 17th District is one of 22 held by Democrats that are now rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Republicans have an 8.1 in 10 chance of winning control of the US House, which is currently split 222-213 with Democrats holding the majority.

“Two weeks out from Election Day, Maloney finds himself in deep danger, simultaneously fighting for his political life in his Hudson Valley seat and desperately trying to prevent Democrats from being swept out of the House majority,” Cook’s US House Editor Dave Wasserman told Forbes.

Other Kay Races In New York:

New York’s Gubernatorial Race

Among the other New York races drawing national attention is the governor’s race, where incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul holds only a slight lead over Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, according to recent polls.

An Emerson College poll released Friday, Oct. 28 showed Hochul with 50 percent support to Zeldin’s 44 percent.

Her lead has shrunk dramatically since August 2022, when a SurveyUSA poll showed her leading Zeldin by 24 points.

Another poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group, showed Zeldin leading Hochul by less than one percentage point, 48.4 to 47.6 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percent.

A former lieutenant governor and the state’s first female governor, Hochul is seeking her first full term in office after assuming the role in August 2021 when Andrew Cuomo resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Zeldin represents the state’s 1st Congressional District covering eastern Long Island. He is a staunch supporter of former President Trump and was among the 147 Republicans in Congress who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

New York’s 18th Congressional District

Pundits are also keeping a close eye on New York’s 18th Congressional District, where Democrat Pat Ryan, the former Ulster County executive, is facing off against Republican State Assemblyman Colin Schmitt.

The 18th District is located in the Hudson Valley and includes all of Orange and Putnam counties, as well as portions of southern Dutchess County and northeastern Westchester County.

President Biden won the district by five points in 2020 under its previous boundaries. 

The Cook Political Report has the race pegged as “lean Democratic.”

New York’s 19th Congressional District

In New York’s 19th Congressional District, Democrat Josh Riley holds a slight edge over his Republican opponent, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, 48 to 43 percent, according to a Siena College poll released Friday, Nov. 4.

The results mirror a Siena College poll conducted in early October 2022 that showed Riley leading Molinaro by five percentage points, 46 to 41 percent.

The 19th Congressional District includes the counties of Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster, as well as portions of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery, and Rensselaer counties.

President Biden won the district under its previous boundaries in 2020. 

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. 

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