Zeldin Dissects GOP’s 2022 Performance, Shows Possible 2024 Roadmap

Rising Republican star and candidate in 2022’s gubernatorial race in New York former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) laid out a unique insight into how the Republican Party could win in 2024, and why it didn’t in 2022 at this year’s CPAC conference.

The former congressman offered a unique insight into the Republican Party’s mediocre results in the 2022 midterm elections. Considering that Zeldin’s candidacy for governor that year likely helped several Republican congressional candidates over the line, his perspective will likely hold weight among conservative activists.

The New York Republican argued that there is a particular need for the party to focus on turning out voters in urban and suburban areas.

“We cannot relinquish anything to the Democrats and if we’re on offense confidently, that will be the path for us to earn a red wave. Because in 2022, we did not earn a red wave nationally,” he said.

“Don’t pander,” he said. He added that being on offense would “earn” the party a “red wave.”

Zeldin said that Republicans need to fight in all 50 states and in offices down-ballot. His 2022 race was a potential example of this concept in action.

Zeldin ran a spirited campaign against incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY), who took office after the resignation in disgrace of her predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).

The Republican gubernatorial candidate’s efforts had several major effects. Firstly, Zeldin pulled within about five points of the Democrat, signaling the Republican Party’s best result in the state in a generation.

Secondly, a number of Republican candidates were brought right over the finish line, likely because of the serious draw of support for Zeldin.

The former representative had a unique coalition in a state that usually votes overwhelmingly Democratic. Zeldin won considerably more votes in New York City than a typical Republican. However, the largest surprise was the intense support Zeldin received in the suburbs.

The strength of the former congressman’s campaign led many to support him to become the head of the Republican National Committee, which Zeldin declined.

Zeldin’s near victory was one of the highlights of the 2022 midterms. His experience winning back traditional suburban voters could be a major lesson for the Republican Party, if it chooses to listen.

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