tags: , Press Releases

Don’t Overlook On-the-Ground Mobilization Lessons from Suozzi Victory and Related Backlash to GOP Nativism

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Washington, DC – Among the ongoing lessons from Tom Suozzi’s victory in the NY-03 special election is the role of AAPI, Latino, and naturalized immigrant voters – as well as the related hard work to mobilize these voters and the role of GOP nativism in engaging these communities. 

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Among the lessons and implications of the Tom Suozzi victory include reminders about the importance of mobilization efforts, including the investment in and hard work of on-the-ground groups and leaders such as Rep. Grace Meng in engaging AAPI, Latino and naturalized immigrant voting communities. In a race in which immigration featured prominently, these communities’ backlash to Republican nativism and MAGA extremism is a major part of the larger story.” (see more from Cárdenas on larger immigration takeaways from the Suozzi win HERE).

Among the key mobilization and engagement efforts and analysis includes:

  • Representative Grace Meng (NY-06) stated: “Whatever happens tonight, thank the people without the fancy titles” and followed that up with an appearance on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” to highlight Suozzi’s engagement with AAPI voters as an underappreciated factor. Rep. Meng from the nearby 6th District, said, “Asian Americans made up about 18 to 20% of the electorate in Tom’s district so he went to multiple dim sum events, Korean fried chicken events, visiting South Asian business owners, and houses of worship. He really met people where they were and he talked to them about immigration, he talked to them about being willing to govern and being willing to reach across the aisle to fix things, to get the job done … When people feel like they’re being heard, they want to support a candidate vs a candidate who was rarely seen anywhere publicly in the district.”
  • Representative Ted Lieu (CA-36): “One reason Tom Suozzi won #NY03? His campaign did heavy outreach to AANHPI voters. Thank you to the great Rep @Grace4NY and other Asian Americans who fired up the community. Reminder: Trump mocked the AAPI community.”
  • Make the Road NY:Our members delivered in #NY03’s special election! Across northern Nassau County and into northeastern Queens, they led incredible GOTV efforts, including: 6,400 door knocks. 48k+ phone calls. 156k+ text messages. 950k+ NYers reached through digital ads. ¡Sí se puede!”
  • Battleground New York: “Republicans in New York are on notice: in just 31 days, Battleground New York knocked on 104,398 doors -we flipped the 3rd, and we will flip four more seats in November! #NY03 #NYPol”
  • Trip Yang, Democratic Strategist: “AAPI voters (20% of NY3 population) were critical to this decisive victory for @RepTomSuozzi @Tom_Suozzi! Investing in AAPI voters is not just good policy, it’s good politics!@AAPIVictoryFund”
  • Tom Bonier of Democratic political data firm TargetSmart: “Republicans were confident that they had found a winning issue in this special election when they launched attack after attack on Democrat Tom Suozzi on immigration and border security … Voters in New York clearly took notice, and the central GOP strategy in this race fell flat, or perhaps even backfired … voters of color account for about 1 in 4 votes in this district, including substantial Asian and Latino American populations” and separately noting, “AAPI Voters Delivered. Again,” stating, “it seems likely they played a large role in Tom Suozzi’s win. About 1 in 6 voters in this district are Asian American. In the Queens portion of the district, that number is almost 1 in 3.”