Abortion On The Ballot: Democrat Squeaks Out Victory In Bellwether Race Ahead Of Midterms

Abortion On The Ballot: Democrat Squeaks Out Victory In Bellwether Race Ahead Of Midterms

New York Democrat Pat Ryan pulled out a win Tuesday in a special election that is considered a significant bellwether by politicos.

The swing district, NY-19, was won by former Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) in 2020 by 12 points, but Joe Biden won the district by only 2 points in the same election. Republicans were hoping to flip it with Republican Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro.

Ryan, though, was able to pull out a tight victory with 52% of the vote compared to Molinaro’s 48% when the race was called by the Associated Press around midnight.

Democrat Pat Ryan will win the special election in the swing 19th Congressional District, CNN projects, in a district that Biden narrowly won in 2020 and GOP had hoped to flip

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 24, 2022

Ryan and politicos from both sides of the aisle have acknowledged that the Democrats’ focus on abortion pulled him over the finish line.

“Choice was on the ballot,” Ryan said on Tuesday evening via social media, making a reference to abortion. “Freedom was on the ballot, and tonight choice and freedom won.” 

We voted like our democracy was on the line because it is,” he said. “We upended everything we thought we knew about politics and did it together. #NY19, it will be my honor to serve you in Congress.” 

Choice was on the ballot. Freedom was on the ballot, and tonight choice and freedom won. We voted like our democracy was on the line because it is. We upended everything we thought we knew about politics and did it together.#NY19, it will be my honor to serve you in Congress. pic.twitter.com/BsPKlLGqE0

— Pat Ryan 🇺🇸 (@PatRyanUC) August 24, 2022

“Abortion is a highly polarizing but energizing issue for Democrats and their base,” author and political consultant Ryan Girdusky told The Daily Wire on Wednesday morning. “They’ve been able to tap into that successfully during special elections since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.”

“Republicans have spent much of the last few months focusing on inflation, which is a very important issue, but not as enticing to their base as abortion is for Democrats,” Girdusky continued.

“The national conversation among conservatives, if they want to bring out rural and working class white voters, needs to be centered around immigration, crime, homelessness, and education,” he said.

Upstate New York radio host Bob Lonsberry made similar comments.

“The success of Pat Ryan in the NY19 special election may show the wisdom of the Democratic Party’s focus on abortion rights,” he said. “It may not get new voters, but it might energize old voters — Democrats who would otherwise be dissatisfied and disengaged.”

The success of Pat Ryan in the NY19 special election may show the wisdom of the Democratic Party’s focus on abortion rights. It may not get new voters, but it might energize old voters — Democrats who would otherwise be dissatisfied and disengaged.

— Bob Lonsberry (@BobLonsberry) August 24, 2022

Lonsberry added that the bellwether election could be bad news for Republicans.

“As a Republican, the results in NY’s two congressional special elections are concerning,” he said on Wednesday. “We only won one, and underperformed in both — in the midst of what we presumed was broad-based upset at Democrat policies and leaders.”

“That doesn’t augur well for November,” the host warned.

As a Republican, the results in NY’s two congressional special elections are concerning. We only won one, and underperformed in both — in the midst of what we presumed was broad-based upset at Democrat policies and leaders. That doesn’t auger well for November.

— Bob Lonsberry (@BobLonsberry) August 24, 2022

Ryan will face a normal general election in November, but he will be on the ballot for New York’s 18th district because of redistricting. Molinaro will be on the ballot for New York’s redrawn 19th district in November.

Related: Who Will Face DeSantis, Rubio In November? Results In For Top Florida Primaries.

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