Somebody asked the question on Twitter, “Did Santos’s opponent spend zero minutes on research?”

«The Democrat did spend a total of $22,000 over three payments on Deep Dive Political Research, an opposition research firm, per FEC filings. (This organization did not respond to a Vanity Fair interview request.) Local news organizations did raise questions in their coverage of Santos. One column in The North Shore Leader noted the eye-popping increase in Santos’s net worth from less than $5,000 to more than $11 million over a period of two short years. The piece even quoted an anonymous Republican leader as saying, “Are we being played as extras in ‘The Talented Mr. Santos’?” And the DCCC’s research memo on Santos outlined many of the allegations made in the Times report. It noted the IRS’s lack of knowledge of the congressman-elect’s animal-rescue charity and raised questions about his financial status. The document does, however, list Santos’s educational and professional claims without question. The bulk of the 87-page research document leans into Santos’s ties to Trump and his antiabortion stance.

Zimmerman says his campaign “was unrelenting in getting people’s attention” but that, ultimately, “I think part of the problem, quite frankly, was everyone saw this as not a competitive seat. They didn’t see the Republican tidal wave coming in New York, and so they didn’t focus on the race.” Jacobs, too, echoed this sentiment. “Santos didn’t win the race based on his campaign or who he is,” he said. “Like many other Republicans, particularly on Long Island, [Santos] won because of the view that this was an issue-driven election and the issue this year was crime.” Indeed, a red wave did run through New York on November 8, where even Sean Patrick Maloney—the person tasked with steering Democrats to another majority—lost his own race.»

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