NY 23rd’s role in flipping the House and Senate

The main motivating issue that caused the Never Trump Campaign to develop was the fear that the GOP will lose their control of the Senate and the House.

If you remember, the House turned Republican in the 2010 non-presidential election. The Senate switched from Democratic majority to a Republican majority in 2014, another non-presidential election.

There are 34 Senate seats up for grabs in the November election. The Democrats have  to defend 10 of them; the Republicans 24. If the Democrats win 15 Senate seats they would control it.  Many articles discusses the possibilities of flipping the Senate. One can be found here.

Senator Schumer is seeking re-election, and should easily defeat his opponent, Wendy Long. She lost to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. Matter of fact, Gillibrand defeated Long in every NY 23rd County except Allegany.

In the House, the Democrats need to pick up 30 seats to have a 218-217 majority. With many congressional districts drawn to benefit the Status Quo, picking up thirty seats seems unlikely, but not impossible. The NY 23rd is one of the 30 possible flippable district.

The well respect Cook Political Report has our district rated as a “Leans Republican”, which puts it as one that could turn Blue if there is a enough independents and republicans join the democrats and reject Donald Trump and  Rep. Reed.  The Roll-Call report on the NY 23rd race focuses on the campaign finances as a factor in the race:

Democrats narrowly missed defeating GOP Rep. Tom Reed in 2012, but the congressman won re-election more easily in 2014. Romney won the district by 2 points in 2012, so the district can be competitive, and Reed said some nice things about Donald Trump, but the congressman had a $1 million to $366,000 edge over Democrat John Plumb in campaign accounts on March 31.

This report acknowledges that the NY23rd is flippable because of voting history and that  supporting Trump is sen as a negative.. But Reed’s financial “edge” Plumb may make or break the race.

Reed’s financial benefit comes with being an incumbent. It doesn’t matter that most of his funding comes from tom with pigsout of our district. Reed’s political favors allows him to easily get the funding he needs. The power of being an incumbent! It’s news when Reed shows up at a County Fair Pig Race–he gets his picture in the paper.

Nate Shinagawa, the 2012 Democratic candidate who was narrowly defeated by Reed, once said that “You don’t need to have the most money, but you need enough money.” Enough means to have a credible media presence. If the candidates want to cover all eleven NY 23rd counties they must  purchase political ads time in five television markets: Buffalo (Chautauqua, Cattaraugus & Allegany), Elmira (Steuben, Schuyler & Chemung), Binghamton (Tioga), Rochester (Ontario & Yates), and Syracuse (Seneca & Tompkins). Quite expensive.

Candidates are phoning sources for campaign funds daily. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee may dangle funds for Plumb, but with their history in the NY23rd (no funding for Shinagawa, and retracting promised funding  late in Martha Robertson’s campaign) candidates can not depend on it. That leaves us, the constituents of the NY23rd to help fund campaigns.

Besides funding, candidates who are challenging incumbents, like John Plumb, need to get their name, qualifications, and message out to the voters. People tend to vote for candidates they have met. This is where a real grassroots effort will help. Each county in the NY23rd has a Democratic County Committee. They inform the candidate of county events. They organize  petition drives, Meet and Greets, House Parties, literature drops, and phone banks. They march in parades and find locations for lawn signs. They talk about the down-ballot candidates to friends and acquaintances. The Committees need volunteers to help with those activities, as well as stuff envelopes and write letters to the newspapers. The phrase “every little bit helps” relates to political campaigns. Follow this link to see Contact, Website, and Facebook information about each County’s Democratic Committee.

We can only affect one House race–ours! Wishing isn’t going to help. This is the right year to increase our participation in the election process. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Tag, you’re it!

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About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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