House Democrats Scramble to Defend Their Embattled Campaign Chief

Democrats announced a $605,000 ad buy to defend their embattled campaign chief on the same day a top elections forecaster says the race is now a “Toss Up.”


Democrats announced a $605,000 ad buy to defend Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, their embattled campaign chief, on the same day a top elections forecaster says the race is now a “Toss Up.”

  • Cook House editor Dave Wasserman wrote the Democratic campaign chief “is now in deep danger” of losing reelection as he fights for his career and to save the Democratic House majority.
  • Sean Patrick Maloney is the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the organization dedicated to electing House Democrats and defending the Democrats’ slim majority in the House.
  • Earlier this cycle, Maloney abandoned his reelection bid in New York’s swingy Hudson Valley-based 19th District to move to the ostensibly-safer 17th District next door after redistricting shook up New York’s congressional seats.
  • Although he only represented about a quarter of the new 17th District, Maloney was able to push out first-term Rep. Mondaire Jones and stave off a nasty Democratic primary challenge from his left.
  • Republicans have spent over $6 million to defeat Maloney and promote his Republican challenger, New York Assemblyman Mike Lawler. Maloney himself admitted he was “worried” about his reelection bid in an interview with The Albany Times-Union.
  • If Maloney loses reelection, he’d be the first DCCC chair to be defeated for reelection since 1980, and the first campaign chief from either party to lose since Republican Guy Vander Jagt’s 1992 loss.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Politico reported many Democrats feel obligated to protect Maloney as his loss would be a “massive embarrassment for the party.” Maloney’s vulnerability is a “painful development” for House Democrats who now must spend to defend their campaign chief instead of vulnerable members.
  • Axios called Cook’s rating change a “seismic shift” and a “sign of how big the GOP wave is looking… that Republicans have a shot of unseating the powerful lawmaker in a double-digit Biden district.”
  • CNN noted Democrats have spent over $8.3 million in television advertising so far compared to Republicans’ $5.6 million, soon to be augmented by a new $867,000 ad buy from the NRCC.



  • The Washington Examiner reported the DCCC announced it would spend $605,000 to defend its chief with an ad painting Republican Mike Lawler as a “MAGA extremist.” Lawler told the Examiner his internal polling had him up 6 points over Maloney.
  • “Sean Patrick Maloney was not ready for Republicans to bring it, and now that we have, he’s going to lose,” a House Republican campaign spokeswoman said in a Monday statement to Breitbart.
  • A few hours south of Maloney’s district, immigration is the key issue in the race for the 8th District in northeastern Pennsylvania. Democratic incumbent Rep. Matt Cartwright and his G.O.P. challenger Jim Bognet are in a dead heat. The seat includes Luzerne County, which “diversified faster than any other large county in the U.S. during the first two decades of this century,” according to the Wall Street Journal.


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© Dominic Moore, 2022