New York City’s Last Congressional Republican Goes Down

Dan Donovan
Dan Donovan speaks during a press conference on tax reform on Nov. 16, 2017. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

New York City is officially a one-party town, at least in the way that the nation’s largest city represents itself in Congress.

Rep. Dan Donovan, the Republican congressman from New York’s 11th district representing Staten Island and South Brooklyn, has lost his re-election bid to Democrat Max Rose. It’s a sign of just how big a swing two years of Donald Trump have delivered in and around big U.S. cities. In 2016, Donovan won by 25 points; Trump won his district by 9.


Staten Island, which makes up the bulk of the New York 11th, was emblematic of one feature of Trump’s appeal—his success (compared to Mitt Romney) in a set of white northern suburbs that also included Long Island, New York, and the Detroit metro area. It looks like voters in those places are having second thoughts. Turnout in the New York 11th lagged behind 2016, but Donovan is on his way out. Rose was a good candidate, but his success owes a lot to the anti-Trump zeal that brought out an army of canvassers to support him.

The last time New York City’s congressional delegation didn’t have a Republican was in 2009, after the Obama election brought a blue wave to the House.