Reminder: The Elections Aren’t Over Yet NY-26

posted at 12:15 pm on April 30, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

I know there are plenty of folks who are still exhausted from the battle of 2010, and others who are eagerly looking forward to next year. But before we get too carried away, it’s worth reminding everyone that we still haven’t finished filling all of the seats in the House of Representatives. There’s an empty one out here in upstate New York for the 26th district and the election is coming up in a few weeks. In case you’ve forgotten, it was formerly held by Congressman Chris Lee, who about now is probably wishing he’d spent a bit more time playing Farmville on Facebook rather than hanging out on Craigslist sans shirt.

The Wall Street Journal reminds us that the race will come to a close on May 24 and points to the results of a Siena poll checking on how things stand today. (Cross tabs are to be found here.)

So how are things shaping up? Well, as we’ve become far too accustomed to seeing in Upstate New York congressional races… it’s a mess.

The Siena College poll released Friday shows 36 percent of likely voters supporting Corwin and 31 percent favoring Hochul. With the May 24 special election about a month away, Tea Party candidate Jack Davis received 23 percent and Green Party candidate Ian Murphy trailed with 5 percent.

Siena’s Steven Greenberg says that in a district with a seven-point edge for Republicans, Corwin’s support lags behind Republican enrollment

The 26th is a GOP leaning district which I’ve seen rated at anywhere from R+4 to R+7. Jane Corwin (campaign website) is the Republican nominee, but as I pointed out the last time I updated you on this race, she didn’t get there because of a primary victory. Thanks to New York’s oddball election laws, she was designated by the county Republican chairs for this special race.

This brewed up some contentious struggles on both sides. The Democrat, Kathy Hochul, is having votes siphoned off by Scott Walker prank caller Ian Murphy, but Corwin is losing some of her support to Jack Davis, backed by the Western New York Tea Party Coalition. That choice confused many observers out here, since Davis had previously run for office on the Democratic line in 2006 and 2008 and has historical ties to the Working Families Party. (This is a group which frequently finds New York Democrats to not be quite liberal enough for them…)

But if the race looks messy at first glance, Sam Foster at The Lonely Conservative points out that, well… it’s even more of mess when you look more closely.

The first and perhaps, one of the only polls, we’ll see on NY-26 is out and it looks like a close race. TPM wants it to mean that NY-26 is in play:

In a potential replay of the 2009 NY-23 special election that saw a third-party candidacy turn a red-leaning district blue, a Tea Party candidate is threatening to hand Democrats an upset in the race to replace resigned Republican Rep. Chris Lee in NY-26.

But, just to give you an idea how lost their analysis is:

In a parallel to the NY-23 race, the Republican candidate’s more moderate positions — Corwin is pro-choice — have left an opening for attacks from her right.

Both Corwin’s opponent’s Jack Davis and Kathy Hochul are far larger pro-choicers, thus pro-choice is not really an issue in the race.

But he goes on to point out that the Republican candidate may be safer than a quick glance at the numbers makes it appear.

First of all, Kathy Hochul is running a campaign strictly as a referendum on the Paul Ryan budget. The problem is that the Republican plan is creaming the Obama plan. According to the poll, 53-36 people want to see the next NY-26 candidate support the Republican plan. This includes a 55-31 split for Republicans amongst Independents.

Second of all, it would appear that Jack Davis isn’t only bilking Jane Corwin on votes, but he’s doing lot’s of damage to Democrat Kathy Hochul; particularly in the area of Independents. Green Party Ian Murphy is also stealing from Hochul. Republicans over Democrats, slightly favor Davis more by about 4%. A pretty small margin even though Davis is taking 23% of the vote.

Finally, Hochul’s biggest problem is in the undecided category. Only 5% of Democrats are undecided to 11% Republicans and 9% independents. At the end of the day, it might be a closer race between Jack Davis and Jane Corwin.

If you plan on getting involved in this race you’ve got a little time left to do so. But given the stampede of other stories in the national press and the almost total lack of coverage the race is receiving thus far, I’m not expecting this one to be standing room only.


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How is Reince helping Jane Corwin?

OmahaConservative on April 30, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Friendly reminder, Working Families Party was founded in 1998 by Unions and ACORN.

amazingmets on April 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM

All I have to say is I’m glad I don’t have to cover NY politics. They make Wisconsin politics look sane.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Is this going to be a repeat of Scuzzyfava?

OmahaConservative on April 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM

For Gods sake, we can’t even trust some of the Tea Party candidates.

VBMax on April 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I don’t know about anyone else but unemployment keeps me out almost everything, especially out of state elections.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Can you go back to steveegg? I’m not fond of change.

Lanceman on April 30, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Can you go back to steveegg? I’m not fond of change.

Lanceman on April 30, 2011 at 12:34 PM

It was sort of a condition of me getting a Green Room key.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

It was sort of a condition of me getting a Green Room key.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Yeah, I figgered that.

Lanceman on April 30, 2011 at 12:47 PM

For Gods sake, we can’t even trust some of the Tea Party candidates.

VBMax on April 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

While I am a fan of the Tea Party ideas, remember they are all over the place – from Trump to Ron Paul.

MeatHeadinCA on April 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Friendly reminder, Working Families Party was founded in 1998 by Unions and ACORN.

amazingmets on April 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Ah, UniCORNS….

karl9000 on April 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

It was sort of a condition of me getting a Green Room key.

Steve Eggleston on April 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

What, AP doesn’t like pseudonyms…?

d1carter on April 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

It seems most New York Republicans, even upstate ones, are quite liberal, just like their New England brethren. It’ll be a generation before the GOP is competitive there again.

IR-MN on April 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

The Tea Partiers are working again for the democrats, looks like Delawere, Nevada and Colorado wasn’t enough for them.

Falz on April 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM

The WNYTPC looks to be more of a Ron Paul outfit based on their coalition page, so more checking on them turned up this article at RollCall:

http://www.rollcall.com/news/-203965-1.html

But she noted that Davis is getting help from “a rogue tea party faction,” known as the Western New York Tea Party Coalition. As in most states, there are various organizations associated with the larger tea party movement, and they often do not agree.

A message left with the tea party coalition was not immediately returned.

In this case, Thompson suggested that TEA New York would not back Davis under any circumstances, instead preferring Corwin or Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, who tried and failed to secure the Conservative Party line.

In addition the Western New York Tea Party Coalition shows endorsements for the 27th and 28th, but not the 26th and they stated in that article:

The local tea party movement has been on the fence about Corwin, who has a conservative voting record in the state Assembly but supports abortion rights during the first trimester of a pregnancy.

So did he actually ever get any Tea Party endorsement or is the media just hyping and claiming he did.

JeffinSac on April 30, 2011 at 3:12 PM

The substitute blogger, Jazz Shaw, failed to state Chris Lee’s party affiliation up front–causing me to play Google That Party–and failed to specify that this is a special election, not an ongoing recount from November.

Worse, Jazz Shaw’s remark that

Congressman Chris Lee, who about now is probably wishing he’d spent a bit more time playing Farmville on Facebook rather than hanging out on Craigslist sans shirt

was way too cute, and did not tell people what they needed to know right in the first paragraph. The whole idea of writing is called “communication,” Shaw.

So it’s back to English Composition I for you, Shaw. And I mean the 11th grade version.

Emperor Norton on April 30, 2011 at 4:08 PM

I tell ya, the WNY Tea Party Coalition backing Jack Davis really does them damage. He’s a bitter old man (you can see it in his face), angry that the two major parties never fully got behind him in previous elections, so he’s running as the “I can’t be bought!” candidate (all his ads say exactly that).

He wants to be WNY’s Ross Perot, screaming against free trade and NAFTA, when in reality, he’s just an angry, angry man. And desperate, knowing that this is probably his last chance for grasping political power.

If tea partiers around here are backing him, then to be honest, I’d reconsider backing the tea party up here in WNY.

Pope Linus on April 30, 2011 at 7:13 PM

@JeffinSac:

Just read your post about WNYTPC. Thanks for looking that stuff up.

Pope Linus on April 30, 2011 at 7:14 PM

@IR-MN:

“It seems most New York Republicans, even upstate ones, are quite liberal, just like their New England brethren. It’ll be a generation before the GOP is competitive there again.”

Actually, it’s not that. (WNY–especially NY-26–is probably the most conservative section of NYS.) It’s that we always have a lousy crop of credible candidates, because we have an absolutely abysmal state Republican party.

Pope Linus on April 30, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Anyone even contemplating voting for should do some research on him. Jack Davis is not what anyone on Hot Air would consider their idea of a Tea Party Candidate. His race against Tom Reynolds as a Democrat made that very clear. In addition, he has a very nasty public personna that is only exceded by his even nastier private personna.

From the Buffalo News:

Running for Congress for a fourth time and once again stressing the idea that free trade has destroyed the nation’s economy, Davis said: “I saw what was happening a long time ago, so why would I have any manufacturing stocks?”

Still, Davis’ oil-company investments might not sit well with voters stung by high gasoline prices.

Asked what he would say to voters who thought he was getting richer as gas prices skyrocket, Davis said: “I’d say they’re all screwed up.”

That is what he says in public.

KW64 on May 1, 2011 at 12:45 AM