Democrats target Rep. George Santos and five other NY Republicans in bid to retake House
Democrats believe the road to retaking the House of Representatives in 2024 runs through the Empire State — with Rep. George Santos as their poster child.
After a disastrous 2022 midterm election performance in New York, the national Democratic party has its eyes on grabbing back at least six congressional seats in the state.
“The path to the majority is in New York,” said Mike Smith of House Majority PAC, which works to win the House for Democrats.
The group plans to pump $45 million into a wide range of ads targeting GOP lawmakers in New York, an unusually large investment in a deep-blue state that almost certainly won’t have a competitive presidential or Senate contest.
Santos wasted no time hitting back at the Democrats, predicting a #RedWave and backing former President Donald Trump — even though Democratic enthusiasm would likely go through the roof if the former president is on the November 2024 fall ballot.
“Dems dropping 45 Million dollars on New York congressional races tells you all you need to know about 2024,” Santos said.
Many of his Republican colleagues would prefer if Santos resigned so they don’t wind up being linked to his campaign of serial lies.
But he defiantly refuses to step down and unless Congress votes to expel him he will likely continue to be a poster child for Democratic attacks, particularly in the New York City metro area.
New York has a bounty of swing congressional districts that voted for President Biden in 2020 but elected a Republican to Congress two years later.
There are 18 such districts nationwide. Six of them are in New York alone, more than enough for Democrats to narrowly retake the House, where the GOP holds only a 222-213 edge.
The seats include those won by Santos and fellow newly-minted Long Island Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who both won Democratic leaning districts based in Nassau County, along with Rep. Nick LaLota on Long Island’s purplish East End.
Democrats are also gunning for Rep. Mike Lawler, the charismatic GOP newcomer who unseated Democratic powerbroker ex-Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for a seat in the city’s northern suburbs and Rep. Marc Molinaro, who eked out a narrow victory in a Hudson Valley district.
Further upstate, freshman Rep. Brandon Williams is also a target in a Syracuse-area district.
So how are Democrats going to flip all those seats? By juicing turnout, for one thing.
Democrats tend to turn out in far bigger numbers in presidential election years. That alone could give Team Blue a decent chance of winning back a couple of the seats they lost.
Abortion rights will also be a big issue.
Rep. Pat Ryan, a Hudson Valley Democrat, survived last year’s GOP wipeout by hammering home his support for women’s right to choose after the Supreme Court rolled back the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Democratic strategists have also unveiled a campaign hammering Republicans for supposedly using Social Security and Medicare as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the White House over the budget and raising the debt ceiling.
President Biden used the attack line to put Republicans on the defensive during his fiery State of the Union speech.
Now Democrats want to use it to either peel a few moderate Republican votes to their side on the debt ceiling, or make GOP lawmakers in liberal-leaning districts pay a political price at the ballot box in 2024.