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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Battle for NY House Seats

 Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.

Kadia Goba at Semafor: 

Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries has installed two loyalists at the flailing New York State Democratic Party — in the hopes that his home state can carry him to the Speakership.

Jeffries’ former campaign manager, Lizzy Weiss, will head the battleground effort, and Jeffries’ longtime ally, André Richardson, is a senior advisor at a new arm of the state party. Jeffries, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Gov. Kathy Hochul first announced the new initiative to donors they hope will underwrite the coordinated campaign in June over a Zoom call.

The new effort is a muscle flex by one of the most powerful Democrats in the country to refocus his home state’s Democratic party on 2024 House races. They are, for now, retaining staffers close to Hochul, including New York Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs, whose performance in the midterms inspired a campaign calling for his removal, and Executive Director Alex Wang.

Weiss and Richardson have met with and interviewed congressional candidates, and are present at some of the most sensitive meetings with Democratic leaders and members of the delegation.

The campaign will be adding additional organizers between now and the 2023 elections, which, I’m told, should yield “younger, more dynamic candidates that are going to hustle,” a person familiar with the strategy told Semafor.

Abby Livingston at Puck:

But it’s the state’s famously competitive junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who plans to run up the score next year in her campaign for a third full term. As the only statewide official on the ballot, I’m hearing that she intends to run hard, even if she doesn’t face a strong Republican challenger, in order to help supercharge down-ballot House races across New York. She’s already gotten started, using part of her August recess on a 21-county tour through the state, Instagramming her way through county fair after county fair.

This sort of expansive strategic thinking is not always obvious to other senators, many of whom could not be less interested in House politics. But memories of Gillibrand’s 2020 flamout in the Democratic presidential primary cloud her previous reputation as a ferocious House candidate, prior to her Senate career. In 2006, Gillibrand stunned the political world when she snatched a reddish, off-the-radar Albany-area seat in that year’s Democratic wave, and then she held it in 2008. Which is all to say that, with so many political veterans entering this fight, Gillibrand’s influence could be decisive.