Special election poll in New York bellwether district points to GOP wave
Republicans are poised to flip a swing House seat in upstate New York in a Tuesday special election, according to a new survey from a liberal polling outfit that shows the Democratic nominee trailing by 8 percentage points.
The Data for Progress poll, conducted Wednesday through Monday, showed Republican Marcus Molinaro, a Dutchess County executive, beating Democrat Pat Ryan, an Ulster County executive, 53% to 45% in New York’s vacant 19th Congressional District, with just 2% undecided. Such a lopsided outcome after a campaign in which the candidates have battled over abortion rights, in a swing seat President Joe Biden won by 1.5 points in 2020, could portend big gains for Republicans in the November midterm elections.
Democrats have argued that voter angst over the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which eliminated federal protections for abortion rights, would cost Republicans votes this fall. The GOP has countered that voters are more concerned about skyrocketing inflation and an economy that has slipped into recession. Some political observers say the special election in New York’s 19th Congressional District is a bellwether that will settle that question.
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Data for Progress surveyed 1,222 likely voters in the district. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3 points.
The 19th Congressional District has swung back and forth between the parties over the past decade.
In 2012, President Barack Obama won the seat 52.1% to 45.9%, defeating Republican presidential nominee and now-Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). Four years later, Republican nominee and future President Donald Trump won the seat 50.8% to 44%, beating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. In 2020, the seat swung back the other way again, with Biden besting Trump 49.8% to 48.3%.
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The 19th Congressional District was previously represented by Democrat Antonio Delgado. He won the seat in 2018, a Democratic wave year, but resigned in May to become New York’s lieutenant governor.