Cobb and Stefanik to Rematch for New York’s 21st District

Peyton Gouzien | @PGouzien

With 2020 right around the corner, most people are talking about the Presidential election. Though in Congress, House races like New York’s 21st District are looking to be a 2018 repeat. Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik won against democratic challenger Tedra Cobb by 17.7 percentage points in 2018. Despite her double digit loss, Tedra Cobb is out for another shot at the seat. Cobb had promised her concession speech that she would run again in 2020 against Stefanik.

When Stefanik’s campaign got wind of the news, they were quick to respond. They released a video on their YouTube channel on April 15th on the subject. The video attacked Cobb on a video of her saying she would not publicly say she would support an assault weapons ban. Additionally, the video included clips of Cobb lost for words during interviews and events and her comments on soap operas being a form of population control.

Can Tedra Cobb win in 2020?

Incumbent Elise Stefanik is now into her third term in the House, starting her career in Congress in 2014. Congresswoman Stefanik turned the 21st district red, in a district that had been deep blue for decades and even voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Stefanik has won each term by at least double digits, with her smallest margin against Cobb in 2018. Stefanik actually did better than polling predicted in 2018, three points more than the latest poll before the election.

Cobb will likely face similar troubles in running in 2020 as she did in 2018. The State Board of Elections shows that the district has 177,800 registered Republicans to only 128,438 Democrats and 94,182 independents. As well, she runs against a candidate the GOP use as a case study on how to win tough democratic seats. It doesn’t help that Cobb received much backlash over the secretly recorded video on her supporting an assault weapons ban, but said she would not do it publicly. The teen, identified as Preston Scagnelli, recorded the video at the “Teens for Tedra” event on the campaign trail. Many raised questions about Cobb’s integrity, seeing as she supported a policy privately and not publicly, because “she would lose”.

Congresswoman Stefanik has shown more than willing to once again use this video to her advantage ahead of 2020’s election. This could turn the election into a 2018 repeat and signal Stefanik’s fourth term in office.


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