With 27 seats to discuss, let’s get into who will win the 2020 New York House races.
New York has seen a steady drop in its output of members of Congress over the decades. Following the 2020 Census, they may shed another one. Until then, however, Democrats enjoy a 21 to 6 edge in seats over a decimated and near-irrelevant NYS Republican Party. Once the GOP lost the State Senate there a few years ago, that was all she wrote.
However, it could be worse for Republicans in this state because it was worse during the early years of the Obama presidency. New York had two more congressional districts but three fewer Republicans than they do now. Thanks in large part to the deep blue nature of New York City dominating the state’s politics, the Republicans have not had a majority in the New York House delegation since the mid-1960s. By and large, New Yorkers, especially voters within a 50-mile radius of New York City, circle the Democratic bubbles and move on, and it is reflected in the political makeup of the state. Republicans do have some success further away from New York City (and even some success IN New York City, if you just look at Staten Island), but new Democratic pockets form upstate around Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo.
The question Republicans are asking now is if any of these seats they lost in 2018 are back in play today. Should you make it to the end of this article – and we sure hope you do – we will give you some answers.
NY US House Rating Scale
This scale shows how we’ve rated all of the 2020 New York House races, and Electionarium does not do tossups.
2020 New York House Races Current Prediction Summary: May 16
Current New York US House Map
New York City Area House Map
In theory, the Democrats have a chance here, but this race is not pinging our radar yet. Lee Zeldin may not run ahead of Donald Trump in this district but it seems unlikely he would lose this seat unless Trump, who carried the 1st District comfortably last time, does not either.
Pete King is stepping down, leaving an interesting race in his wake. If we were to change the ratings for this race down the line, it would probably be in a Democratic direction as opposed to more Republican. The GOP should win this seat, but after all, it is New York in a presidential election year. We will watch this one but the makeup of this Long Island district favors the Republicans more often than not.
With a district dipping into Queens but stretching through some fairly Democratic areas on Long Island’s North Shore, Tom Suozzi is not in a lot of trouble here this time.
Republicans used to have a foothold in this district – back in the 1990s. The 4th has not been in play in a long time.
Gregory Meeks will have this seat as long as he wants it, and the Democrats will as well.
Another very safe New York City seat for Grace Meng and the Democrats.
Republicans contending in a district that touches Manhattan is unthinkable. Nydia Velazquez will be re-elected.
Brooklyn, Queens, doesn’t matter; Democratic hold.
Well, what’s interesting about this race is that there is a primary. What happens after the primary will not be interesting in the slightest.
Jerry Nadler is extremely safe. The Democrats could nominate a paper clip in this Manhattan-based district and get 85 percent.
This is the lone competitive race in New York City, and it was one of the Blue Wave gains in 2018. Staten Island is the only borough of New York City that is not a Democratic slam dunk, and they have voted like it, though the district also slips across the Verrazano into Brooklyn. Max Rose gained this seat but even though this is New York City, it will be tough for him to keep, especially if Donald Trump carries the district again. Nicole Malliotakis, who lost the mayoral race in 2017, would be a pretty good get for the Republicans in this district if she is nominated. We will take a wait-and-see approach on this race but can envision this being an opportunity for the GOP, and maybe the closest of the 2020 New York House races.
Carolyn Maloney has been in Congress for what seems like forever, and she will continue to do so.
If the Democrats lost this seat, they would be looking at an extinction-level event nationwide, and check your sky for the Four Horsemen.
This district has gotten a lot of attention these past few years because of its very notable representative. Maybe AOC loses a contested primary someday or maybe she doesn’t, but a Democrat is winning this seat in perpetuity regardless of who they nominate.
The good people at Cook Political believe this is the most Democratic seat in the country. They may in fact be correct but if it’s more Democratic than the 13th, it’s not by much.
Eliot Engel’s Bronx and Westchester district is very blue.
Nita Lowey has been a fixture in her district for decades, but she is hanging it up in 2020, which has unleased a very competitive Democratic primary to replace her. The eventual Democratic nominee should have little trouble winning the general election.
Sean Patrick Maloney has been winning here in spite of the fact that the 18th, a lot of which used to be the 19th back in the day, doesn’t have a rich history of supporting Democrats. The Westchester portion of the district helps cancel out the Republican pockets in Dutchess, Putnam, and Orange Counties. However, the area has changed, and this seat that used to have the likes of Ham Fish and Sue Kelly has given Democrats more support in recent years. Maloney is not safe but this is not a hot race, either.
On paper, and for those who know it, this is not the kind of district you would peg as having a Democratic representative. You find rural parts of upstate, including the Catskills, Cooperstown, and the Taconic Range here, which doesn’t scream “blue,” and yet, they won this seat in 2018. What is potentially hurting the Republicans this time is that while the GOP does have a decent bench in this area, they all took a pass on this race.
This Albany-based district has been a reliable Democratic seat.
Elise Stefanik has represented the Adirondacks in Congress through a few elections now and Democrats are not making big strides towards ousting her. Democrats winning this seat during the Obama years was a bit of a surprise, though there are some Democratic counties along the Canadian border. Once Bill Ownens was out, even though he initially won with help from a fractured GOP, it opened the district back up to Republicans.1 Stefanik would not seem to be in a lot of trouble at the moment.
This is an opportunity for Republicans in the same way that it was an opportunity for Democrats in 2018. New York’s 22nd is as central as it gets in the state and there are some areas of the district that went heavily for Donald Trump in 2016. Claudia Tenney is running to get her old seat back and it may work out for her, but we’ll all find out in November. We have here one of the more Republican districts that doesn’t have a Republican representative, but Anthony Brindisi has positioned himself as a moderate. If Trump does well in this district again, we could be looking at a coattails flip, but with the primary still pending, we are playing it safe.
Despite housing ultra-liberal Ithaca within its boundaries, Tom Reed is probably not in imminent danger for the time being.
Syracuse is not exactly a hotbed of Republican support, but John Katko is making it work. He survived the Blue Wave as a moderate Republican, of which there have been a few in Upstate New York in recent times. Katko is the most vulnerable Republican in New York right now because there are so few of them left, but we can see him winning again.
Rochester’s district is rather blue and a Republican making it a race is infrequent. Joe Morelle is very likely to be re-elected.
Buffalo’s congressional district is probably the most Democratic in the state outside of the New York City area. Brian Higgins will be fine.
This is an open Republican seat, but a very Republican seat in general in western New York. Chris Collins got re-elected in 2018 despite being under investigation. With him out of the way, this should be a much less rocky election for the GOP.
NY House References
1: Jeremy W. Peters, “Another Democrat in Tight House District Won’t Run Again,” New York Times, January 14, 2014, NYT Link)