Two women who can help bring the blue tsunami of 2020
Giving Democrats in the House a bigger majority will help turn back the Trump era. Candidates definitely need our support.
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Two Democratic women in New York State who made great strides in the 2018 blue wave— even as they fell short — are taking aim again this year, hoping to make 2020 a blue tsunami.
And their targets, incumbent Republicans who’ve come further onto the national radar, are much more vulnerable in 2020. I spoke with each challenger recently on my SiriusXM show, as we’re focusing in on races across the country in this year’s elections.
Dana Balter, a Syracuse educator who is once again running against Republican John Katko in New York’s 24th congressional district, just received an endorsement from President Barack Obama and is leading or tied with Katko in recent polls (Katko won by five points in 2018). And in New York’s 21st district, Tedra Cobb, having swung the district 16 points in 2018, is once again looking to unseat the now-infamous Elise Stefanik, one of the very few women left in the GOP’s House caucus.
Both incumbent Republicans, who’ve studiously tried to present themselves as moderates over the years, not only voted against impeaching President Donald Trump; they’ve forcefully endorsed him for 2020 against Joe Biden.
Balter’s district, which includes the entire city of Syracuse, stretches past surrounding suburbs into rural areas. Gerrymandered by the GOP when it had a majority in the legislature, the district was designed to keep a Republican representing a part of central and western New York even as a Democratic urban center dominates the district. But Katko is one of only three Republicans still in the House in a district Hillary Clinton won in 2016, and he is a now at the very top of the targets by Democrats. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting money behind Balter’s campaign, seeing this is a race to win.
Katko didn’t endorse Trump in 2016, called on him to drop out of the race and didn’t vote for Trump (claiming he wrote in Nikki Haley). But he not only voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act; he voted against impeaching Trump — after he was nationally focused on as a possible GOP defection and faced anti-Trump protests in the district — and then a month later gave Trump a full-throttled endorsement.
But that was in January of this year, a month before the coronavirus pandemic mushroomed. Balter is hitting Katko on health care once again amid the pandemic, as well as on many of the same issues of 2018 and on Katko’s hypocrisy and being in lockstep with the radical GOP — and Trump. Take a listen to the clip above from my show and hear her talk about why Katko is so out of step for the district — and why she should replace him.
Tedra Cobb, who’s been a volunteer firefighter in the New York’s rural North Country and a health care advocate who worked on HIV/AIDS issues in rural New York, saw donations pour into her campaign during the end of 2019 when her district’s incumbent Republican House member, Elise Stefanik, day after day, defended Trump during impeachment hearings as a member of his impeachment defense team.
Stefanik held press conferences sometimes two and three times a day, in which she made ugly attacks on Democrats and defended Trump’s reckless and abominable behavior. Stefanik’s high national profile during that time not only hurt her; it elevated Cobb, whose Twitter following exploded.
Stefanik, like Katko, had tried to craft herself as a moderate over the years, voting with Democrats on LGBTQ rights and on a few other issues. But her vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017 is what got Cobb, a long-time health care advocate who has a daughter with pre-existing health conditions, to jump into the 2018 race. Cobb lost by 14 points, which surely is a lot, but she created a 16-point swing: Stefanik had won the race in 2016 by 35 points.
Though Trump won the district that year, it tends to be an independent district; Obama had won it previously. Cobb is counting on Stefanik’s cover as a moderate Republican being completely blown by her full embrace of Trump, whose disapproval has only plummeted further amid his abysmal handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Joe Biden is currently leading Trump in the entire state of New York by 25 points according to a Sienna College poll, which will only help, especially in a district with many senior citizens, a group shifting to Biden amid the pandemic. Cobb knows the district, having lived there for over 30 years. I encourage you to listen to the clips from my show here and get a sense of her passion and expertise.
As in 2018, we’ve been committed on my show to bringing attention to races across the country where Democrats can make gains. As always, these candidates need the support of people across the country. So please take a look at these two candidates, Dana Balter and Tedra Cobb (and share this post with others), who can help turn the House even bluer.