Oct 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Midterm shock: Cook moves Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to "tossup"

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) leave the Capitol on Sept. 30. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

This is a seismic shift in the midterm elections:

  • Dave Wasserman, U.S. House editor of The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, this morning moved the re-election race of House Democrats' campaign kingmaker — DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney of New York — to a toss-up.

Why it matters: It’s a sign of how big the GOP wave is looking — and how potent the issue of crime is in New York — that Republicans have a shot at unseating the powerful lawmaker in a double-digit Biden district.

The district — NY-17 — had been rated "lean Democrat" by CPR.

  • Maloney's opponent in the newly redrawn district is first-term state Assemblyman Mike Lawler.
  • The suburban New York City district backed Biden by 10 points.

What's happening: On Sunday, Maloney's campaign admitted to the Albany Times Union that the race is tight.

  • Outside Republican groups, including ones aligned with House GOP leaders, have spent over $7 million on attack ads against Maloney to boost Lawler.

Between the lines: Maloney was hit in his primary from the left and pushed out Mondaire Jones, an African American progressive lawmaker, when he switched districts.

Context: The past two Sunday issues of Axios Sneak pointed to Maloney as a Democrat in danger.

What they're saying: Maloney said on ABC's "This Week" that Republicans are "lighting on fire $7 million trying to beat me and on the day after the election they're going to lose this seat and wish they had that $7 million out in races they could win."

  • "They want to fell a mighty oak. That's what they do," Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Punchbowl News last week. "They went after [former DCCC Chair] Cheri Bustos. And so you have to win. … But it's no surprise. That's how they are."
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