Aug 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: National Democrats jump into N.Y. special election

House Democrats' campaign arm is going on the air with a six-figure, abortion-focused ad buy in the special election in New York's 19th District, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Aug. 23 race is an early test of whether Democrats' focus on abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will be enough to counter Republicans' attacks on inflation.

  • Democratic candidate Pat Ryan and Republican candidate Marc Molinaro, both popular county executives, have been road-testing their parties' respective messaging strategies, Axios previously reported.

Driving the news: The ad from Ryan's campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, titled "Sad Truth," says: "The sad truth? Marc Molinaro and the Republicans oppose a woman’s right to choose."

  • "In Congress, they will vote for a nationwide abortion ban. Republicans will allow women and their doctors to be prosecuted for getting abortions," it continues.
  • The spot intersperses footage of Molinaro with videos of national Republican figures, including former President Trump, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The other side: Molinaro campaign manager Will Dawson told Axios in a statement, "Pat Ryan is lying and he knows it. Marc has stated he would not support a federal ban because the Supreme Court has returned this matter to the states."

  • Molinaro, who is pro-life, previously told Axios in an interview that he supports some state restrictions but views Congress' role as "very, very limited."
  • His campaign has been laser-focused on rising costs and crime. "This is another desperate attempt to distract voters from Joe Biden’s policies that have created an inflation crisis, record high gas prices, and rising crime," Dawson said.

State of play: The ad comes as Molinaro and the National Republican Congressional Committee have heavily outspent Democrats in the district, $1.3 million to $500,000, according to a House Republican operative tracking spending.

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