This will turn out to be yet another unhappy story for the Democrats as we grind our way through all of the election results. One race out on Long Island in New York State had been touted as potentially being yet another Democratic pick up in the House this year. In New York’s Second Congressional District, Congressman Peter King is retiring after decades of public service. Given the tumultuous conditions in New York City, Democrats thought they saw an opportunity. While state assemblyman Andrew Gabarino won the primary for the Republicans, the Democrats put up Jackie Gordon, an activist who had supported various efforts to defund or abolish the police.
Well, somebody didn’t do a very good job of reading the tea leaves. It took Gordon until yesterday to finally concede, but Gabarino won the seat and, in the end, it really wasn’t even close. (Free Beacon)
New York assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R.) picked up the seat of retiring Long Island Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) in a decisive victory over a Democratic candidate who touted ties to anti-police groups.
Democrat Jackie Gordon called Garbarino Wednesday evening to concede the race over two weeks after Election Day. Garbarino ultimately defeated Gordon with 56.9 percent of the vote to Gordon’s 42.2 percent…
“I am honored and excited to succeed Congressman Peter King and represent New York’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington,” Garbarino wrote in a statement. “In addition to supporting small businesses and fighting to lower taxes, I look forward to working with our brave law enforcement to keep communities safe, fighting to preserve our environment, supporting our veterans, and delivering real results for Long Island families.”
There was one aspect of this race that’s worth noting, though we’ve seen the same thing taking place in districts all over the country. The final tally shows Gabarino defeating Gordon by a full fifteen points. But in the final days before the election, the Cook Political Report rated the race as a toss-up.
How did the pollsters manage to get this one so abysmally wrong? If there’s a true neck-and-neck battle brewing and you make the call for someone who ends up losing by a point or two, that’s understandable. But fifteen points? Considering that we’re not talking about a district that’s as massively tilted to one side or the other (like most of Manhattan, for example), fifteen points is basically a blowout.
For Gordon to have even made the race competitive would have been a fairly shocking turn of events and could have signaled some sort of sea change. The Second District may not be totally lopsided, but it’s definitely cut in a way that favors conservatives. Peter King won his last four races there (since the district lines were last redrawn) by margins of 18, 37 (!), 24, and 6 percent. (2018 was something of an outlier.) So a Gabarino win by fifteen seems to fall well within the typical range for Republicans running in that district. And yet somehow, the polling community managed to convince themselves that Gordon would magically turn this into a horse race.
We can chalk this contest up as one more example of how the “blue wave” turned into a washout. In order for the Democrats to somehow expand the majority they picked up in 2018 they were always going to have to start flipping a bunch of typically red seats into the blue column. Instead, the Republicans have been taking back any number of seats they lost last time and shrinking Nancy Pelosi’s majority day after day. Jackie Gordon is just the latest example of this phenomenon.