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UNITED STATES - AUGUST 18: From left, Republican candidate Marc Molinaro and Democratic candidate Patrick Ryan talk before the start of the New York 19th special election candidate forum at the Roscoe Beer Co. in Ro... UNITED STATES - AUGUST 18: From left, Republican candidate Marc Molinaro and Democratic candidate Patrick Ryan talk before the start of the New York 19th special election candidate forum at the Roscoe Beer Co. in Roscoe, N.Y. on Thursday, August 18, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 23, 2022 11:23 p.m.

[ed.note: Since I wrote this post, all the networks have called this race for Democrat Pat Ryan.]

A fascinating story is unfolding in NY-19 — a result that looks very promising for Democratic prospects this fall in the House.

This is a special election to fill a seat vacated by Rep. Antonio Delgado (D), who became Lt. Gov. In itself the race is almost meaningless. The term is only for the rest of this year. But as an indicator of the political climate it’s much more significant. In a strong GOP year this is a district Republicans should take fairly comfortably. Cook calls it a dead even district. What’s more, the Republican, Marc Molinaro, is judged by pretty much everyone to be a perfect GOP recruit for the district. So there’s no excuse. The Republicans should be winning this.

As I write it’s too close to call. In a way, though, the final result doesn’t matter that much. It will essentially be a tie. And New York state election laws allow a week for postmarked absentee ballots to arrive. So we might not know the answer for a week. The key is that this result is not consistent with a GOP wave election, not even a mid-range one.

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