Election 2022: Mini 'red wave' hits Long Island

While a red wave didn't necessarily carry the nation in the 2022 midterm elections, an unlikely battleground on Long Island will turn all four seats in the U.S. House red.

Republican George Santos beat Democrat Robert Zimmerman in Long Island's 3rd Congressional District for the seat held by outgoing Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi.

The race proved to be historic; it was the first time two LGBTQ candidates went head-to-head in a general election for Congress and a Republican walked away as the winner of the seat for the first time in decades. 

"We like our way of life," Santos said. "We don't like the rampant crime, we don't like the cost of living. We need to start tackling gas — if we attack energy it'll help inflation."

The tightest race was in the 4th Congressional District where Republican Anthony D'Esposito narrowly defeated Democrat Laura Gillen, flipping another seat held by Democrats since 1997. 

"It could be a piece of history," D'Esposito said. "These seats on Long Island could be the ones that turn the House from Democrat to Republican."

Long Island's immediacy to one of the cities in the country where the issue of crime and inflation cut the deepest is one of the reasons, according to experts to explain the local red wave. Add to that the energy and unity of the Republican base over Lee Zeldin's candidacy for governor and also they say the lack of lifelines at the top of the Democratic ticket. 

"The Democratic party outside of New York City had a hard time coming together," said Lawrence Levy, the executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University. 

The GOP clean sweep also included a win by Republican Nick LaLota in the 1st District and another win for Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino who won a second term in the 2nd District.

"Long Island looks like it did a generation ago politically when Republicans really held sway before Democrats began turning this into a purple or even light blue region," Levy said. 

The last time all four Long Island congressional seats were held by Republicans was back in the mid-1990s.