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New York Democrats blamed for national defeat

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It’s New York’s fault! Thus resounds the little music, while the Republicans seem able to win the House of Representatives with extreme accuracy. Nothing would have been possible without one of the states reputed to be the most democratic, New York. The Biden camp has lost four representative seats there and could give up a fifth in the process of being counted in favor of the conservatives. “House Republicans wouldn’t have a majority without New York State”told the New York Times New York Republican Representative Elise Stefanik. “What do you say to this irony? » The joke is not to the taste of the Democrats. “It was a terrible night in New York”lamented Howard Wolfson, one of the Democratic strategists. “It’s infuriating that such a good night for Democrats as a whole is being undone by the arrogance and incompetence here. »

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Ultimately, there will probably be fifteen Democratic seats and eleven Republicans, in a state with a population of 20 million that lost one seat due to its demographic decline. How did we get there, when the Republican wave broke cleanly on almost all of the American territory, with the notorious exception of Florida?

First, the context: New York is not just New York City: the state includes the northern countryside, between Pennsylvania and Lake Ontario, which is Republican. The state had a Republican governor until 2006, with George Pataki, and Michael Bloomberg, mayor of the city from 2002 to 2014, was elected with a Republican label for his first term, before going independent.

And then everyone saw the bad wind coming, with a last meeting organized in panic by Joe Biden, to support the Democratic candidate for governor, Kathy Hochul, who gave the “the” to the whole campaign. This almost unknown woman had taken the post of governor following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo, in the summer of 2021, accused of harassment. His election was to be a walk in the park. His final score against a Trumpist candidate, Lee Zeldin, turned out to be very bad, with less than 53% of the vote. She owed her resistance to the massive support of the African-American and Caribbean electorate.

Crime, a major concern

Then, the city and its suburbs are experiencing undeniable difficulties, and this is where the Democrats tripped over the carpet. Delinquency is not a feeling: the number of murders in the city, 488 in 2021, jumped 67% compared to the low, in 2017. The number of homicides is admittedly down 13% since the beginning of the year 2022, but the concern remains major, especially since other crimes (rape, burglary, assault, etc.) have increased by 28%. Above all, the metro is the scene of traumatic homicides, nine since the start of the year, compared to an average of two per year before the Covid-19 pandemic.

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