New York Republican congressman Michael Grimm looked like a political goner this April, when he was slapped with a 20-count federal indictment for mail, wire, and tax fraud allegedly committed in the operation of a restaurant he once owned. National Republicans abandoned Grimm, while Democrats coalesced behind nominee Domenic Recchia, a New York City councilman.
But a poll of the Staten Island-based district last month suggested that Grimm was no sure loser, after all. The indicted congressman actually led Recchia by four points, 44 to 40 percent. Even Democrats concede that the race is very much in play; speaking with the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, New York Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the Grimm-Recchia race "has gone down to the wire."
Theories abound as to why Grimm may yet pull off a win, with some observers speculating that put-upon residents of New York's "forgotten borough" don't much mind what outsiders think of their combative congressman.
The Daily Show host Jon Stewart has his own ideas. In a segment last night titled "Wait, How the Fuck Does That Happen?" Stewart asked what could possibly explain Grimm's apparent lead. His conclusion? It's not so much that Grimm is winning the race as that Recchia is losing it. Stewart rolled several cringeworthy clips of Recchia flubbing answers on foreign policy, trade, and labor issues, concluding that "[t]he Democrats are blowing this."
No matter who prevails in the race, Stewart quipped, "the real winner here is New York's eleventh [congressional district], because whatever happens between now and November, one of these two gentlemen is going to be representing you in Congress."
Watch Stewart dissect the race below, via Comedy Central: