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GOP Nativism Again Failed to Deliver, Democrats Have Template for 2024 Immigration Politics, Say Leading Observers

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Washington, DC – America’s Voice has put out our own “three key takeaways” analysis of the implications of Tom Suozzi’s victory in the NY-03 special election through the lens of 2024 immigration politics. Many other observers and analysts are weighing in with their own assessments and reinforcing our analysis – about the repeated failure of Republicans’ nativism at the ballot box and about the importance of Democrats leaning in, calling out GOP preference for politics instead of solutions, and embracing a both/and “solutions” framing that both addresses the border and broader immigration reforms including citizenship. 

Among the key analysis that caught our eye:

  • Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of New York Immigration Coalition and NYIC Action: “Republicans ran the most outlandish anti-immigrant campaign in #NY3 and turns out (like we all knew) that’s a losing strategy. People are looking for solutions not more fear-mongering and scapegoating.”
  • Senator Chris Murphy in a new political memo released today, “Going on Offense on the Border/Immigration” (per NBC News): An immigration message that supports legal immigration and a pathway to citizenship, but leads with a belief in an orderly, safe border is both politically advantageous and morally defensible … Tom Suozzi’s special election victory can serve as a roadmap for Democrats. Suozzi messaged aggressively on the issue, running ads that highlighted his support for a secure border and legal pathways to citizenship … and turned what could have been a devastating political liability into an advantage.”
  • Tom Bonier of Democratic political data firm TargetSmart: “Republicans were confident that they had found a winning issue … Yet the GOP abandoned a bipartisan legislative agreement in the US Senate last week at the direction of Donald Trump, because he didn’t want to lose a campaign issue against President Biden. Unfortunately for the GOP, they said the quiet part aloud and telegraphed this plan to, well, everyone. Voters in New York clearly took notice, and the central GOP strategy in this race fell flat, or perhaps even backfired.” 
  • Ron Brownstein, political analyst: “For those tempted to say Suozzi won just by running as a Republican on immigration worth noting that to the camera in his key ad on the issue he pledged to “secure our border…but open paths to citizenship for those willing to follow the rules.” 
  • Politico’s campaign reporting team in “6 takeaways from the New York special election”:  “Suozzi’s win is the first sign that House Republicans running away from a bipartisan agreement on the issue may have backfired. Democrats running in pivotal House races now have an example of how to parry Republican attacks over the border: They can argue their party is willing to cut a deal on immigration while House Republicans want to keep it alive just to help Trump.” 
  • Greg Sargent, columnist for The New Republic: “I was told by some Very Serious Thinkers that this was not possible, that immigration is a certain winner for Rs at all times … Worth noting that Suozzi bashed Republicans for killing the border deal in the home stretch of the race, which also suggests it’s good politics for Dems to be associated with wanting to make a deal (its specifics aside) and bad for Rs to be associated with killing it for Trump.” 
  • Nick Fandos, New York Times reporter who covered the NY special election closely: “There was little reason to believe the outcome would alter former President Donald J. Trump’s determination to make immigration a mainstay of his own campaign. But it is likely to force Republican leaders and strategists mapping out the race for the House and Senate to reconsider the potency of the border issue that Ms. Pilip made the centerpiece of her campaign.”
  • Fernand Amandi, pollster: “The craven @HouseGOP + @SenateGOP capitulation on the immigration bill for political reasons in deference to Trump was a killer in a race that @GOP framed around immigration.”