Hillary’s Brooklyn Bridge

Hillary Clinton: “We are going to take back the House and the Senate.” June 22, 2016

Well, Democrats have to win House seats in Hillary Clinton’s home state of New York for that to happen. And after last night’s NY congressional primary results, it’s not looking good. Here’s why:

Democrat Candidate Recruitment Fails
Democrats have consistently struggled with candidate recruitment across the map, and New York is no exception. With no serious candidates, this year Democrats have given up on NY-11 – a district Obama won in 2012. And in the NY districts they think they have a chance, misfit candidates abound. Just three examples:

•    NY-01: Establishment-backed and financed Democrat Anna Throne-Holst leads Democrat Dave Calone by just 29 votes in this too-close-to-call primary. One reason: Throne-Holst is so disliked by people who actually know her that a local paper slammed her for “several policy reversals, including some backstabbing on the East Hampton Airport, and a frequent complaint that she is difficult to work with.”

•    NY-19: Democrat Zephyr Teachout, a Bernie Sanders’ endorsee, is so far left of this moderate Hudson Valley district that even Democrats are worried she’s too extreme and out-of-touch.

•    NY-21: Democrat Mike Derrick has combined ignorance on policy with poor fundraising (maybe selling one of his six CO properties would help?) to the point that no nonpartisan political forecaster sees this upstate district, which Obama won twice, as likely to flip.

Republicans Can Gain a Seat
With Steve Israel’s retirement, Democrats are fighting to keep NY-03 in their column. Republicans rallied around one strong, unopposed candidate in State Sen. Jack Martins, while Tom Suozzi had to battle his way out of a five-way Democratic primary last night. And more, CLF polling earlier this year showed Republicans with a four-point lead on the generic ballot, and voters preferring a Republican Member of Congress to check Hillary Clinton, if president (47%/42%). So Hillary Clinton and Democrats can LOSE ground in New York in their quest to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker again.

Fiction: Hillary Coattails
Given all the scandals, ongoing investigations, and lies, it’s no surprise that New Yorkers overall have a dismal view of Hillary Clinton, with over half viewing her unfavorably. And in five out of seven potentially competitive NY congressional districts, more voters cast a ballot for Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton in their respective presidential primaries. Now we’ll see how long it takes for Democrats to turn from “Ready for Hillary” to “Run from Hillary” when faced with questions about their scandal-plagued nominee.

So the next time Hillary Clinton says she’s going to help Democrats take back the House, ask her about her home state of New York. She has a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.