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Democrats’ blue-state headaches

Thought Leader: Josh Kraushaar
October 16, 2022
Source: Axios
Written by: Josh Kraushaar

House Republicans are increasingly confident they can make unexpected inroads into some solidly Democratic congressional districts, including in some of the bluest states in the country: California, Connecticut, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Why it matters: Following the money is as important as following the (limited) congressional public polling. Republicans are now pouring over $25 million into some of the bluest political battlegrounds on the map — a fresh sign that the political winds favor the GOP down the home stretch.

Zoom in: Republicans are bullish they can win the Oregon governor’s race for the first time since 1982, boosted by an intra-Democratic feud. Democrats are playing furious defense in three Biden-friendly House battlegrounds in Oregon as well.

The intrigue: One of the New York seats in which Republicans are spending big bucks is the redrawn seat of DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney, whose suburban New York City district backed Biden by 10 points. Outside Republican groups are spending over $2 million in attack ads against Maloney to boost Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler.

Between the lines: One common denominator in most of these blue-state races: Crime. Murders have been on the rise in major metropolitan areas within these states and near these districts, and the GOP’s advertising has hit Democrats over bail reform, reallocating resources away from police, and an overall sense of disorder.

The bottom line: The fact that Biden spent political capital in Democratic strongholds Oregon and California this week — less than a month before Election Day — speaks volumes about the national mood.

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