The battle for control of the narrowly divided House of Representatives got even more competitive this week (Mid July ) , tilting in favor of Democrats. And it has nothing to do with issues or the candidates themselves.
After an embarrassing showing in the 2022 midterms, when Democrats in neon-blue New York lost four congressional seats and, with them, control of the House of Representatives, the party now has a new chance to reclaim those seats and more in 2024. A state court Thursday ordered that new congressional lines be drawn, giving Democrats – who control the governorship and the state legislature – a chance to pick up four to six seats in next year’s elections.
If the ruling is upheld, that could be pivotal for Democrats, who need to flip just five seats to regain control of the House – especially important in a year when Republicans are well-positioned to take control of the even more closely divided Senate….
Internal Democratic issues….
Paradoxically, the problem could grow only more stark if Democrats win a lawsuit seeking to redraw the state’s district lines. That could ease the party’s path to victory, but also prompt the courts to push the primary date from June to late August, extending the bitter primary season and truncating the general election campaign….
There is time for leaders like Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the top House Democrat and a New Yorker, to intervene if they want to. While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rarely interferes in open primaries, there is a tradition of less direct maneuvering to boost preferred candidates and edge others out.
So far, Mr. Jeffries appears to be doing the opposite — privately encouraging more potential candidates, with mixed success, according to four Democrats familiar with his outreach who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to discuss it. He tried to nudge State Senator Michelle Hinchey into a Hudson Valley contest earlier this year and urged the former Nassau County executive, Laura Curran, to enter a large primary field for another seat as recently as July.
Mr. Jeffries has also offered support to Tom Suozzi to enter the race for his old House seat on Long Island, where a crowded field of Democrats is circling Representative George Santos, a first-term Republican who faces federal fraud charges.
The leader’s allies argue that the competition will strengthen their nominees, and brush off concerns that Democrats will be short on funds. A Democratic super PAC has already earmarked $45 millionfor New York races. And the D.C.C.C. is pitching donors — as recently as a party retreat in Torrey Pines, Calif., last weekend, according to an attendee — to give to special “nominee funds,” a kind of escrow account collecting money for primary winners.
“Leader Jeffries has no plan to endorse in any Democratic primary in New York,” said Christie Stephenson, his spokeswoman. “He is confident that whoever emerges in these competitive districts will be strongly positioned to defeat the extreme MAGA Republican crowd.”….