The particular election in New York’s Third Congressional District on Tuesday will decide who will change George Santos, the previous Republican congressman and serial fabulist, for the rest of the 12 months. However the political ramifications could also be felt far past the borders of Nassau County and Queens, with classes for each events in November.
The competition pits Mazi Pilip, a little-known Nassau County legislator working as a Republican, towards Tom Suozzi, a Democrat who beforehand held the seat for 3 phrases earlier than leaving to run for governor. The race is predicted to be tight — with the last-minute wild card of a major snowstorm on Election Day.
My colleague Nick Fandos, who has been closely following the race, reported at this time that the highly effective Nassau County Republican machine is closely managing Pilip’s campaign. Her election filings don’t present a single particular person on her marketing campaign payroll, a very uncommon association.
Right here’s our information to the themes dominating the race, and the way they may play out within the 2024 normal election.
Republicans have embraced immigration as their central problem, hoping to capitalize on suburban voter unease in regards to the wave of migrants arriving in cities like New York. Pilip, who was born in Ethiopia earlier than immigrating to Israel after which the US, has campaigned in entrance of migrant shelters in Queens, accusing her opponent and President Biden of bringing “the border crisis to our front door.” Republicans have spent hundreds of thousands blanketing the airwaves with advertisements casting Suozzi as an “open-border radical.”
Suozzi, for his half, has refused to cede the problem, making a more durable stance on immigration a centerpiece of his marketing campaign. He has referred to as on Biden to lock down the border, and mentioned a group of migrant men charged with assaulting cops must be deported. He additionally criticized Pilip for opposing a bipartisan Senate border bill.
If Suozzi’s technique succeeds, his strategy may turn into a brand new immigration playbook for different Democrats working in swing suburban districts.
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Democrats have leaned into abortion rights as an energizing power for his or her coalition. The $13 million they’ve spent on promoting within the race — twice as much as Republicans — has characterised Pilip as an ardent opponent of abortion rights.
Pilip, an Orthodox Jew and the mom of seven kids, describes herself as “pro-life.” Within the first and solely debate of the race final Thursday, she mentioned she wouldn’t help a nationwide abortion ban. However she declined to say what abortion restrictions she would help, and attacked Suozzi for urgent her on specifics, accusing him of telling a girl what she believes.
“I went by means of being pregnant. I suffered,” she mentioned. “It’s a private alternative. Each lady ought to have that alternative. I’m not going to inform her what to do.”
If Pilip wins, her strategy may turn into a well-liked one with Republican candidates, who’ve struggled to discover a voter-friendly stance on abortion for the reason that fall of Roe.
The trail to November
Democratic and Republican leaders will probably be watching tomorrow’s particular election to see how their messaging methods would possibly play out this fall, on a pivotal battlefield.
Management of the Home in 2025 might hinge on a handful of suburban areas round New York Metropolis just like the Third District, which stretches from the outskirts of Queens to the suburbs of Nassau County. Republicans flipped 4 of these districts in 2022, which helped them win a slender majority within the Home.
On the time, Hakeem Jeffries, the Brooklyn congressman who would quickly turn into the highest Democrat within the Home, predicted these positive aspects can be short-lived. He described the seats as ones “Republicans are renting, not proudly owning.”
Particular elections, which generally characteristic low voter turnout and are topic to the dynamics of idiosyncratic Home districts, will not be good predictors of normal elections. Consider them because the previews for a Broadway present: They may sign how the play would possibly go, however nothing actually counts till the curtain rises on opening night time.
Or, with Jeffries’s metaphor in thoughts, this particular election might give Democrats their first trace about how lengthy that Republican lease would possibly final.
R.F.Ok. Jr. apologizes over a Tremendous Bowl advert
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologized final night time after an excellent PAC backing his presidential marketing campaign ran a nostalgia-tinged Super Bowl ad that intently resembled a spot made well-known by his uncle John F. Kennedy.
The advert featured the identical jingle and the identical cheerful cartoons interspersed with candid images of Kennedy, who gained that 1960 race, onto which the face of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was superimposed.
Some Kennedy relations rapidly criticized the advert. Lots of them have denounced him due to his promotion of unsubstantiated theories about vaccines and different issues.
Bobby Shriver, a nephew of John F. Kennedy, mentioned on X: “My cousin’s Tremendous Bowl advert used our uncle’s faces — and my Mom’s. She can be appalled by his lethal well being care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & well being care fairness had been in her DNA.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. himself, who has invoked his storied political household and its legacy all through his candidacy, quickly responded.
“I’m so sorry if the Tremendous Bowl commercial prompted anybody in my household ache,” he wrote on X on Sunday night time. “The advert was created and aired by the American Values Tremendous PAC with none involvement or approval from my marketing campaign. F.E.C. guidelines prohibit Tremendous PACs from consulting with me or my workers. I like you all. God bless you.”
Individually, the Democratic Nationwide Committee filed a criticism on Friday accusing Kennedy and the tremendous PAC of unlawful coordination.
Kennedy is working for president as an impartial. His candidacy has nervous many Democrats who worry that Kennedy — an environmental lawyer who has turn into a outstanding purveyor of conspiracy theories — may siphon votes away from President Biden.
The tremendous PAC has heightened these suspicions. A considerable portion of its funding, about $15 million, got here from Timothy Mellon, a Republican who has additionally given $10 million to an excellent PAC backing former President Donald J. Trump.
Robert Shrum, a longtime Democratic political guide, wrote: “This RFK Jr. Tremendous Bowl advert is a straight out plagiarism of JFK advert from 1960. What a fraud — and to cite Lloyd Bentsen with a slight modification: ‘Bobby, you’re no John Kennedy.’ As a substitute you’re a Trump ally.” — Rebecca Davis O’Brien