Meet a Competitive House Race: New York 19th District (John Faso vs. Antonio Delgado or Pat Ryan)

Politics News Meet a Competitive House Race
Meet a Competitive House Race: New York 19th District (John Faso vs. Antonio Delgado or Pat Ryan)

Welcome to “Meet a Competitive House Race,” a Paste feature in which we highlight—you guessed it—a competitive 2018 House race from somewhere in America. Between now and election day, we’ll hopefully hit them all. You can see a full list of other House races we’ve profiled at the bottom of this page.

What’s the deal with today’s district? Where is it?

This New York district is in the eastern portion of the state and includes counties such as Greene, Montgomery and Columbia. Larger cities located in this district include Hudson, Kingston, Mechanicville and Oneonta. The district is mountainous, containing the Catskills, and the Hudson river runs straight through the eastern half.

Who the hell lives there? How do they vote?

The district has a population of 698,185 spread out across 7,9387 miles. It’s primarily white at 86 percent, followed by 6 percent Hispanic and 4.4 percent black. Their median household income is $59,619, which is a little less than that of all of New York, but a little higher than the U.S. as a whole. Only 13.5 percent of the population is in poverty, less than the U.S. as a whole, and only 6.7 percent is foreign-born.

The district has an interesting voting history as a swing district. In past presidential elections, it voted to elect President Obama in 2008 and 2012 before a complete flip in 2016, when President Trump won the district by seven points. As for congressional elections, the district is filled with clumps of Republican counties interspersed with Democratic and pivot counties. In the past two congressional elections, 2014 and 2016, a Republican has won the district.

Is Trump going to screw the Republican?

Probably, as this district was loyal to Obama and can’t be happy with Trump’s term so far.

Give me some more background

The district completely reversed its previous liberal support of President Obama in 2016 when they voted for President Trump. After remaining loyal to Obama, this district can’t approve of Trump’s efforts to reverse so many of Obama’s policies.

What’s up with the Republican(s)?

John Faso is the Republican incumbent, who won the seat in 2016 by 8 points. His campaign themes include fighting for returning veterans, defending the second amendment, reducing costly government programs, supplying jobs across upstate New York and strengthening the military as well as counter-terrorism capabilities. While in office, he has been assigned to the committees on transportation and infrastructure, agriculture and budget. A few of Trump’s bills he has voted yes on are the Unborn Child Protection Act, No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and the American Health Care Act. None of these were a surprise based on his campaign platform, although these votes directly attacked policies put in place by President Obama, a president whom Faso’s district voted into office.

So far, Faso comes in second against his Democratic opponents in campaign contributions, with only $893,266. As the New York Times points out, New York is a key battleground as Democrats get ready to attack during this election season. What does that mean for Faso’s newly attained seat in Congress? As The Times notes, he has been “targeted by the Democratic Party; among them, he may have the largest bull’s-eye on his back.”

What’s up with the Democrat(s)?

The Primary elections are coming up on June 26 and there are two Democrats in the running, Pat Ryan and Antonio Delgado. Delgado, a Harvard Law School graduate, is leading the race in campaign contributions at $1,053,989. His website states the main themes of his campaign as creating jobs, improving public education, financing infrastructure growth, environmental policies and regulations to protect the district, making healthcare affordable, fighting for women’s rights including the right to choose, making a sensible and compassionate immigration policy, and so on. Basically, he is against everything Trump and Faso stand for.

Ryan is another top Democrat in the running for the primary election, and seems to have a fighting chance against Faso. Ryan comes in last with funding, as he has only raised $589,770 in campaign contributions. He is a military man who graduated from West Point and served two combat tours in Iraq before earning a master’s degree from Georgetown. According to his website, his platform includes revitalizing the economy for the working class and small businesses, affordable healthcare, improving public education, support for veterans, helping the local environment, combating the opioid crisis and above all, keeping America safe. Ryan was a security studies graduate and his main focus is protecting America from ISIS, North Korea and Afghanistan. Overall, Ryan is obviously the middle ground between Faso, the strict conservative, and Delgado, the complete liberal.

What do the polls say?

As of now, the polls are determining a Democratic winner in the general election if Ryan is elected in the primaries. The polls show him beating Faso by a narrow margin, with Ryan at 43 percent and Faso at 41. If Delgado is elected in the primaries, the polls say Faso will most likely keep his seat in Congress.

What’s weird about the district?

This race will focus on healthcare due to Faso’s history with Medicaid policy. As The Times notes, “Faso was one of the architects of a plan that would have forced New York State to pick up the counties’ share of Medicaid financing.” This legislation ultimately failed, but the voters in his district have not forgotten. Since both Democrats are pushing for affordable healthcare in their platforms, this topic will be precarious for even the toughest incumbent.

Give me a prediction

We place our bets on Ryan winning the seat and turning the district blue again. Faso has sucked up to Trump and undone too many of Obama’s policies for the district, which once supported Obama, to be happy with him. The Democrats will most likely elect Ryan in the primary due to the numbers and his seemingly happy-medium platform, which is perfect for this toss-up district.

Past Races

California 10th: Jeff Denham vs. Michael Eggman or Josh Harder
Nebraska 2nd: Don Bacon vs. Brad Ashford or Kara Eastman
California 48th: Dana Rohrabacher, vs. some Democrat, eventually
Florida 26th: Carlos Curbelo vs. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Colorado 6th: Mike Coffman vs. Jason Crow
Washington 8th: Dino Rossi vs. too many infighting Dems
Iowa 1st: Rod Blum vs. Probably Abby Finkenauer

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin