New York 3rd District special election: Live results and analysis

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When I traveled to New York’s 3rd District two weeks ago, there was a part of me that expected to find a bit of a circus atmosphere surrounding the special election. After all, it was the first seriously contested House special of the Biden presidency, and it was taking place under the shadow of the Santos scandal. As we’ve discussed, the outcome has massive implications for the current narrow GOP majority, which can barely pass anything as is, and could give Democrats a head start on their path to flipping the House this fall.

Instead, I found a pretty sleepy race, all things considered. There were no campaign events during the two days I was in town, a Monday and Tuesday, and only one person showed up to the Suozzi canvassing event I checked out. The Democrat had a bunch of campaign offices around the district, but the three I stopped by, including campaign headquarters, weren’t exactly buzzing with activity.

I spoke to a number of local Democrats who expressed concern about low levels of enthusiasm in their party; they were especially worried that Suozzi wasn’t doing enough to motivate rank-and-file Democrats because he was too focused on winning back moderates and independents who had swung toward Republicans in recent years. Coupled with the organizational muscle of the Nassau Republican Party, local activists and officeholders I spoke to were worried they were on pace for an upset.

Democrats have developed a serious branding problem on Long Island since 2020. The party had a bad 2021 local election cycle, when they lost every countywide office in Nassau; a bad 2022, when they lost all four Long Island congressional seats for the first time in decades; and a bad 2023, when they lost control of the North Hempstead Town Council for the first time since 1989. So I sensed a lot of desperation from them heading into this special election. If Suozzi, who’s been around forever and can point to his concrete record of breaking with the national and state party on crime and immigration, can’t get his party over the finish line, it’s not obvious who can.

—Jacob Rubashkin, Inside Elections

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