Is Suozzi's victory in 3rd Congressional District race a blueprint for swing district Democrats?

The race for New York’s 3rd congressional district was watched closely by democrats and republicans across the nation and was seen by some as a test of how swing districts might lean in the presidential election in November.

Democrat Tom Suozzi secured the win – beating his Republican opponent Mazi Pilip by a strong margin.


Suozzi wins special election to replace George Santos in NY's 3rd congressional district: AP

Democrat Tom Suozzi has won a special election in New York for the U.S. House seat that was left vacant when Republican George Santos was expelled from Congress.

If you ask Democrats – they say Suozzi was able to win because he didn’t shy away from tough topics like immigration.

"Democrats are running on Republicans blocking the bipartisan border bill," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "Tom Suozzi ran commercials saying Democrats are for a bipartisan border bill and Donald Trump and Republicans are blocking it."

However, Republicans brushed this off, blaming the snowstorm on Election day and Suozzi’s ties to the district.

Suozzi represented the district for 6 years before leaving his seat to run unsuccessfully for governor.

"They spent about $15 million to win a seat that President Biden won by eight points," House Speaker Mike Johnson said. "Their candidate ran like a Republican. He sounded like a Republican talking about the border and immigration because everybody knows that's the top issue."

Political analyst Lee Miringoff says in a way both sides are right – that while Suozzi showed how Democrats should address top issues like immigration – he also was the well-known candidate in this race.

However, Miringoff said that this race also showed that Suozzi was willing to position himself as slightly more moderate – something other vulnerable Democrats might try to do in swing districts like the Hudson Valley later this year.

On top of that – the other wild card in this race? 

"Some have called it the ghost of Santos," Miringoff said. "He was out there, even if he wasn't a major object in the campaign people sort of took him as a given and then they moved from that."

Since this was a special election, Suozzi will have to run again in November.