The bigger spender tends to win in politics, but a recent exception to this money-in-politics rule could come this week in a Democratic primary race featuring two longtime allies from New York City — Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler.
Maloney has raised $4 million and spent $2.9 million in the current election cycle, ahead of Nadler’s fundraising haul of $1.9 million and his outlay of $1.4 million, according to their filings with the Federal Election Commission as of Aug. 3.
But the latest polling suggests a victory for Nadler in Tuesday’s Democratic primary contest for New York’s newly redrawn 12th Congressional District. He scores 43% support among the heavily blue district’s voters vs. 24% for Maloney and 14% for another candidate, Suraj Patel, according an Emerson College Polling/Pix11/The Hill survey released on Thursday.
Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, is likely benefiting from endorsements from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the New York Times. Still, turnout could be shaky for the contest, with many voters taking summer vacations, and 19% of respondents to the Emerson poll said they were undecided.
Longtime allies Maloney and Nadler, both first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, are facing off because their New York City districts were combined in new redistricting maps drawn by a court-appointed official. That official got involved after New York state’s highest court ruled that other maps created by Democrats were unconstitutional and failed to follow an anti-gerrymandering process.
In her campaigning, Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, has emphasized the importance of responding to the Supreme Court’s June decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.
“Being at the forefront of women’s rights has taught me that we can fight back and win, if we just don’t quit,” the 76-year-old congresswoman says in an ad. “You cannot send a man to do a woman’s job.”
Nadler has pointed out that New Yorkers will lose the only Jewish member in their U.S. House delegation if he doesn’t win his Democratic primary.
“If I’m not re-elected the Jewish community will be the largest — the only large community — without representation,” the 75-year-old congressman said during an Aug. 10 debate at the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, according to a New York Post report.
Meanwhile, Patel, a 38-year-old former Obama White House staffer, has talked up his relative youth.
“It’s 2022. It’s time to turn the page on 1992,” he said during an Aug. 2 debate, referring to the year when Maloney and Nadler first won House races.
Patel, who lost to Maloney in Democratic primaries in 2018 and 2020, has had success with fundraising. He has brought in $1.3 million and spent $1.1 million in this election cycle, according to his disclosures filed with the FEC as of Aug. 3.
The winner of the Democratic primary will be heavily favored to beat Republican candidate Mike Zumbluskas in the November general election.
Now read: Intramural battles in Florida and New York bear watching as Democratic primary voters go to the polls on Tuesday
And see: Midterm elections: This House seat may flip red for the first time in almost a century and indicate whether Republicans have ‘had a really good night’