House Majority PAC Looks for NY Pick-Ups

May 26, 2016

By Liz Benjamin 

The House Majority PAC, the leading super PAC that aims to assist the Democrats in retaking control of Congress, is feeling optimistic about its chances in New York this fall, suggesting in a new memo that at least six GOP-held seats could be flipped in the general election.

“Multiple Republican incumbents and challengers are finding their already-precarious political prospects diminishing even further as they struggle with a damaging party brand, a toxic presidential ticket-mate, and increasingly prove themselves out of touch with their own districts,” the PAC’s executive director, Alixandria Lapp, wrote in the memo being released today.

The districts in play, according to the PAC, are: NY-1, NY-19, NY-21, NY-22, NY-23, and NY-24. Two of those – NY-19 and NY-22 – are open seats, thanks to decisions by their current Republican occupants, Rep. Chris Gibson and Rep. Richard Hanna, respectively, not to seek re-election.

Lapp notes that despite the big win by presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in New York’s April presidential primary, he’s still polling far behind his fellow New Yorker, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, in general election head-to-head match ups.

And, according to those same polls, Trump’s favorability ratings are in the dumps. (Then again, so are Clinton’s, so perhaps that’s not the best data point to be citing).

Not all GOP candidates have wholeheartedly embraced Trump. Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin – a top Democratic target – has endorsed him, but another Republican whose district is in play this fall, freshman Rep. John Katko, of Syracuse, has declined to do so, saying the billionaire developer has to “earn” his vote.

The House Majority PAC, which was founded in 2011, has already placed airtime reservations for this fall targeting NY-1 and NY-24, though a dollar amount wasn’t immediately available. The PAC is weighing its options for further investments, a spokesman said.

In the 2012 cycle, in which Democrats won three competitive House races – including two pick-ups – the House Majority PAC spent more than $2 million, all told.

According to Lapp, the PAC this year plans to “play a significant role in helping ensure victories in House races across the Empire State.”