You can bet that, no matter the outcome of the race in New York tonight, the winning party will find favorable tea leaves for 2024. But it’s important to keep in mind that Pilip and Suozzi are both atypical candidates running in an atypical race — November will likely look very different.

If Republicans win, they’ll point to immigration as a key issue in 2024, one that allowed them to maintain hold of a district that Biden carried by 8 percentage points and step out of the shadow of Santos. It’s a sign that Democrats have indeed gone too far left and a referendum on Biden’s presidency, they’ll argue. But there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, GOP leadership handpicked their nominee, whose profile is particularly well-suited to the Long Island district: an Ethiopian Jew who served in the Israeli Defense Force before immigrating from Israel to the U.S. Pilip has also said that she wouldn’t support Trump if he is convicted of a crime. If she wins, she’ll get to run for reelection this fall with the advantage of incumbency, but Republicans like her, who take a more moderate stance on both policy issues and Trump, might struggle to win over the GOP primary electorate and make it onto the ballot in November.

If Democrats win, they’ll argue that Pilip was too extreme, particularly on the issue of abortion. They’ll likely highlight the appeal of middle-of-the-road Democratic candidates like Suozzi. But Democrats don’t have Suozzis to run in every congressional district across the country, either. He’s a former member of Congress who has worked alongside Republicans to build a record as a pragmatic centrist, and also has extensive ties to his district. Like Pilip, Suozzi was chosen by party leadership, and didn’t have to veer left to win a competitive Democratic primary. We should also keep a close eye on Suozzi’s margin of victory if he wins — narrowly winning a district that Biden carried by 8 points just a few years ago wouldn’t necessarily be a great sign that Democrats are on the way to winning the House majority.

—Leah Askarinam, 538



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