Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), the chair of House Democrats’ campaign arm who lost his reelection bid this week, said he “let people down” by potentially not being able to prevent Republicans from capturing the House majority.
Maloney, who serves as the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday that the party “owns” its losses in multiple key New York House races that could have clinched Democratic control of the body.
The GOP appears to be in a position to win control of the House, but major news outlets have not yet made the call, and the Republican majority will likely be much narrower than originally anticipated as Democrats outperformed the polls in may races.
New York appears to have been an exception to Democrats’ successes in House races, as the party lost several that were seen as winnable, including Maloney’s. Republicans spent millions of dollars to help Maloney’s GOP opponent, New York Assemblyman Mike Lawler, defeat him in his reelection bid.
Maloney said New York was “clearly an outlier” and Democratic candidates were stronger than expected in states including North Carolina and Ohio, where the party picked up seats.
Democrats lost all four House races representing districts on Long Island, including two that they previously held, but Maloney said those candidates needed to outperform New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in those districts by more than 10 points, which he said was “a lot to ask.”
Hochul defeated Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) to win reelection, but only by about 6 points, a much narrower margin than the gap by which Democrats have recently won statewide elections in New York.
“The majority could have been won, and it was our inability to speak to voters in suburban New York City,” Maloney said.
He said he, not Hochul, should get the blame because he should have been able to win a few thousand more votes than he was able to. He told co-host Joe Scarborough that he should not be “carved in marble” after the loses.
Maloney also praised President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whom he called a “rockstar,” saying they delivered an “economic agenda and a democracy agenda that has really moved our country back from the madness and insanity of the pandemic and the Trump years.”
He said a “narrow path” remains for Democrats to hold the majority in the House, and he and the party are still working to make sure that every legal vote is counted.
“We have easily two dozen races where it still really matters that we work at this, and we are not going to let them steal a single seat,” Maloney said, referring to Republicans.