In the end, it wasn't particularly close: Democrat Tom Suozzi defeated Republican Mazi Melesa Pilip 54%-46% in the hotly contested Long Island special election to replace disgraced former Rep. George Santos. Now, the House is closer than ever: the flip puts Democrats at 213 seats to Republicans' 219, with one Democratic and two GOP vacancies. That means Democrats only need to net four more seats in November to retake the majority.

The outcome fits a pattern of Democrats excelling in recent special and low-turnout elections. About 175,000 voters appear to have cast ballots in NY-03 — only about 64% of the total that showed up in 2022 and 44% of the total that showed up in 2020. Amid a snowy Election Day nor'easter, one GOP Super PAC even hired snowplows to roam Nassau County's reddest precincts while Democrats had banked a large mail and early vote lead.

But Suozzi's margin was convincing enough that it can't be explained by turnout alone. Voters were simply more comfortable with Suozzi than Pilip, and it's doubtful a fuller turnout would have reversed the

More from the Cook Political Report

JTFP
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo