NBC News political correspondent Steve Kornacki called Democrat Pat Ryan's win in Tuesday's special election "a significant victory" for the Democratic party nationally in what should have been a Republican climate.
Ryan won by a margin of 51.9%–48.1%, beating out Republican opponent and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro to represent NY-19 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
It was just the latest special election since the conservative Supreme Court majority's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v Wade –which previously gave people the constitutional right to access reproductive health care.
Ryan drew on the shocking reversal of Roe and made reproductive rights a key issue during his campaign to rally voters and get them to the polls, while Molinaro made his election primarily focused on inflation and crime.
Kornacki said of Ryan's win:
"This is a significant victory, not just for Pat Ryan in this district, this is a significant victory for Democrats nationally because it gets to the heart of the question we've asking politically for the last two months."
You can watch Kornacki's take, here.
"In a midterm climate that the Republicans have been saying all year that we live in, in a strong Republican midterm climate, this special election would've been a layup for the Republicans and a layup for Molinaro."
"Instead, the Democrats haven't just made it close, they're going to outright win this election."
Kornacki noted that:
"The national political climate has shifted away from a Republican advantage toward a more neutral climate, a more neutral that gives Democrats a chance certainly at holding onto the Senate–potentially, to holding onto the House of Representatives."
"When you get a result like this, this is not the result you would get if you would expect to see a strongly Republican climate."
Twitter weighed in with their thoughts.
This upstate New York House district has been known as one of the most competitive in the country, with former Democratic President Barack Obama winning it in 2012, former Republican President Donald Trump winning it in 2016, and Democratic President Joe Bident winning it in 2020.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney issued a statement congratulating Ryan, saying that his victory:
"Sends a clear message that voters are fighting back against Republicans’ extreme attacks on abortion rights."
"I’m excited to welcome Pat into Congress where I know he’ll continue to be a champion for the Hudson Valley."
"Republicans can say goodbye to their ‘Red Wave’ because voters are clearly coming out in force to elect a pro-choice majority to Congress this November."
This is the latest indication that the Republican Party's hoped-for red wave may be merely a ripple. Democratic turnout since Dobbs has indicated increased enthusiasm, which has leveled the playing field between the two parties ahead of November, leading some to even contemplate Democrats holding both the U.S. Senate and House.