It’s official: all the undecided House races have been called, and Republicans will hold 222 seats. That’s just above the 218 they need for a majority.
For the first time in decades, New York was the deciding factor in a midterm election. Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin pushed the GOP over the goal line. In this deep blue state Zeldin garnered 47% of the vote (in a state where Democrats usually win by 20 points), but he pushed up GOP turnout in battleground congressional districts. Republicans won four Democratic congressional seats: two on Long Island and two in the Hudson Valley. They also held on to an open Syracuse seat that voted for Joe Biden by nine points. Those five victories are the difference between a GOP takeover of the House and Nancy Pelosi’s likely continuing on as speaker.
New York proves that when Republicans run an effective campaign without flawed candidates, they can make a difference even in Blue States.
Republicans had a potent set of issues – led by crime, inflation, and taxes – to use against Democrats in the Empire State. But few pundits thought that even those would work in New York, where so many of the voters who once supported George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani, or Michael Bloomberg have passed on or moved to other, redder states. After all, Biden carried New York State by 61 to 38 percent in 2020.