I wanted to put up a quick thread on last night’s results in the special election in New York’s 19th district, where Pat Ryan beat a decent Republican candidate, Marc Molinaro. The pre-Dobbs polling showed the race leaning towards Molinaro, but Ryan outperformed Biden’s 2020 margin in the district and won with 52% of the vote. There’s a lot of excitement about the role of Dobbs here, rightly so. It’s a winner for Democrats and we should pound it hard.
In addition to all the other good reasons that Dobbs was a factor, part of the New York-specific aspect of it is that we all know that a Republican Congress will try to pass a nationwide ban on abortion and, ultimately, contraception. Governor Kathy Hochul has been pounding away at the message that New York is a haven for women who need abortions, and the New York Legislature appropriated money for abortion providers to expand access. The second round of this funding ($25 million) is targeted at areas (including where I live) where women from out of state can come and have abortions or other reproductive care.
With the capping of the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction, New Yorkers saw that Republicans were willing to target and punish them. (Whatever you think of SALT as a general principle, the cap’s purpose was to punish, not for any “progressive” reason.) We know that Republicans are coming for us, and that’s a motivator over and above the many other reasons people will come to the polls because of Dobbs.