The Cook Political Report on Monday changed its rating from "lean Democrat" to "toss up" for the House seat of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Sean Patrick Maloney of New York.
The report's U.S. House editor Dave Wasserman wrote Maloney faced a potential "historic shock" in the Nov. 8 midterm election.
"When Republicans' top Super PAC announced an ad buy against Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in April, many assumed it was a gambit to troll or distract the DCCC chair," Wasserman wrote.
"But two weeks out from Election Day, Maloney finds himself in deep danger, simultaneously fighting for his political life in his Hudson Valley seat and desperately trying to prevent Democrats from being swept out of the House majority."
Wasserman pointed to the dollar gap in spending between outside Republican and Democratic groups — about $3.5 million to $384,000 — as well as GOP momentum in New York state, where GOP gubernatorial contender Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., has been closing the gap in his race against New York's Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, The Hill noted.
"A Maloney defeat would be a historic shock: a sitting House campaign committee chair hasn't lost reelection since 1992 (when NRCC Chair Guy Vander Jagt lost his primary), though DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos came close to losing in 2020 (52%-48%) and NRCC Chair Tom Reynolds came close in 2006 (52%-48%). A sitting chair hasn't lost a general election since 1980, when DCCC Chair Jim Corman lost his seat in California," Wasserman wrote.
Maloney, who represents the 18th Congressional District, decided to run in the 17th Congressional District after redistricting pushed Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., the current rep there, into running in the 10th — where he lost his primary, The Hill reported.
Wasserman wrote that Maloney lost some of his biggest bases of support with the move, though the 17th district is more Democrat-leaning.
With the midterms closing in, Democrats are trying to limit the number of expected House losses.
"Look, I'm a gay guy with an interracial family in a Trump district; I didn't win this seat five times by not worrying about it," Maloney told the Times Union in an interview posted Sunday. "You have to do your work. You have to go out and make your case."
"So, of course, I worry about it. I run like I'm behind. That's why I've been successful."
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