NY-26: Heads you win, tails we lose

posted at 4:47 pm on May 20, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

The special congressional election in western New York’s 26th district is down to the final few days and, as we previously predicted, it’s turning out to be a mess. Republican Jane Corwin is fighting a two front battle in the traditionally GOP heavy district. Democrat Kathy Hochul is attacking from one side, trying to pin Corwin’s ears back by tying her to the “Paul Ryan is going to destroy Medicare” meme. On the other front, fake Tea Party candidate Jack Davis is siphoning off votes from voters who haven’t been following the news. No matter how this nail biter turns out, Roll Call concludes that it’s almost a no-win situation for the GOP.

Republican strategists are now praying that they never, ever have another special election in New York state.

First they failed to win a 2009 special election to take back Democrat Kirsten’s Gillibrand’s open seat (which they won back last year). Then, later that year, they lost the open seat in New York’s 23rd district, which had been represented by Republican John McHugh.

And now, with the special election in New York’s 26th district just five days away, Democrat Kathy Hochul has at least an even-money chance of swiping a seat Democrats never figured they could win.

The problem for Republicans is that even if GOP Assemblywoman Jane Corwin comes back to win the special election in a district that was Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) best in the state — a district he carried by 6 points over Barack Obama — nobody will care.

While depressing, they make a fair point. If Corwin prevails on Tuesday, the general response will likely be, “Oh, that’s nice. You managed to carry an R+7 district. Yawn.” But if they lose, this race will become the Democrats’ poster child advertisement about how the “Republican wave is over” and “Paul Ryan has doomed the GOP for 2012.”

Plus, the GOP still hold a very substantial majority in the House. One seat more or less isn’t going to make tsunami level headlines. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort. As a final reminder, all of the money pouring into the race can do a lot, but nothing replaces good old fashioned GOTV boots on the ground in the last five days. If you know anyone in or near the 26th, it might be a good time to get hold of them, hook them up with the Corwin campaign, and give them something to occupy their time this weekend. (At least until they get Raptured.)

MORE: Hot Air friend Kerry Picket of the Washington Times has an up close and personal interview with Corwin on the state of the race and her conservative positions.


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Upstate New York Republicans have to be the dumbest subset of voters without being Democrats. What a cr@ptacular region in an already sh1tty state.

Apologetic California on May 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

…is siphoning off votes from voters who haven’t been following the news…

These must be the independents that all candidates try so strongly to placate just before the election.

Tommy_G on May 20, 2011 at 4:53 PM

“Paul Ryan has doomed the GOP for 2012.”

He has a good plan – but this is an accurate statement. There was no call for the GOP to get behind this plan at a time when it couldn’t be passed – even with a miracle from God himself.

And … it’s given the Dims their favorite issue to demagogue in 2012.

We should have made the election about Cowboy Poetry and the NPR and PPP … but now …

We’re stuck.

HondaV65 on May 20, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Did Newt endorse Davis?

If the Republicans in that district are that out of it, then there’s no hope for that state. McCain must have been a fluke, too. It sounds like they flip a coin when deciding which party to join.

cartooner on May 20, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Nobody seems to mention that the Dems and Jack Davis have not uttered a truthful word throughout the whole campaign. It says little for the voters of NY-26 if they fall for such unvarnished bullsh*t.

Mr. Grump on May 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I thought I saw a poll where Corwin was at 48%, the dem was in the mid 30′s and the fake tea party progressive in disguise was only at 13%.

karenhasfreedom on May 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Apologetic California on May 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Well I think Californians are and will be the dumbest voters ever. But I agree, Upstate NYers come pretty damn close.

angryed on May 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

But if they lose, this race will become the Democrats’ poster child advertisement about how the “Republican wave is over” and “Paul Ryan has doomed the GOP for 2012.”

I wonder if the dems have any Newt Gingrich Ads running bashing Paul Ryan and his plan as being too extreme.

portlandon on May 20, 2011 at 4:55 PM

how silly, correct me if I am wrong but didn’t the GOP lose special elections before 2010?

rob verdi on May 20, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Well I think Californians are and will be the dumbest voters ever. But I agree, Upstate NYers come pretty damn close.

angryed on May 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

LMAO, Ronald Reagan gives us an eternal pass. New York Republicans have nothing to come close to him. Instead, NY the country’s No. 1 source of RINOs.

Apologetic California on May 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM

the left is going to use every tactic that it has…and it has many. We need to get used to this and develop counter tactics.

I saw part of the AFL-CIO guy live on cspan. Got a Standing O from the newspaper guild types (this was a National Press Club thing)

He’s very “angry”. He is outlining the way for the Dim Machine and their press operatives. Mostly typical leftist cant….without more “taxes on the rich” the poor will starve in the streets, the meager pensions of the union members will be plundered, workers will die on the job…death, starvation, plunder and pillage is what the Rs will bring….and the O has had a A vision, just not the execution

Like I said, the guild was quite supportive.

r keller on May 20, 2011 at 5:03 PM

I saw this coming a mile away. Dems using the “Tea Party” to divide the vote, who woulda thunk it. Our own little Frankenstein.

Howcome on May 20, 2011 at 5:08 PM

I think people in CA and NY know they are so far gone there’s no point in even trying to turn things around.

forest on May 20, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Upstate New York Republicans have to be the dumbest subset of voters without being Democrats. What a cr@ptacular region in an already sh1tty state.

Apologetic California on May 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Place the blame where is lies, jerk. The NY GOP is so elitist and out-of-touch that they constantly hand-pick candidates that nobody likes (see Jeanine Pirro, DeDe Scozzafava, etc.) I’m going to vote for Corwin on Tues, but only by process of elimination. My vote is more against tax & spend Hochul and nutjob faux Tea Partier Davis rather than for Corwin. Give us voters better candidates and we’ll do a better job.

rcpjr on May 20, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Apologetic California on May 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Well I think Californians are and will be the dumbest voters ever. But I agree, Upstate NYers come pretty damn close.

angryed on May 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Thank you angryed from a conservative voter in the 26th District.

No, we’re not the dumbest. We’ve elected our bad apples as California has and we have those who vote based on a 30 second ad. But we also have a government that gives benefits to just about anyone. They’re voting their pocketbooks alright. Let’s hope common sense wins out on Tuesday and Corwin wins.

If anyone has time:
Corwin Get-Out-The-Vote Rally
Phone Bank and Door-to-Door Campaign
9:30 am
8234 Transit Road
Williamsville, NY

NYconservative on May 20, 2011 at 5:19 PM

NY Cons, what do the local polls say about this election?

karenhasfreedom on May 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Apologetic California on May 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

It’s laughable that someone from Cal-i-for-ni-a would talk crap about NY voters.

NYconservative on May 20, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Losing here would not be the end of the World. Let the Dhimmis crow about the “wave” being over. I’ll see you at the voting booth in 2012….

sandee on May 20, 2011 at 5:26 PM

HondaV65 on May 20, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Right, we shouldn’t have taken this issue up now; we should have let it sit until .. when exactly? How much more debt do we need to load up before taking this problem seriously?

Do we wait until the country goes bankrupt, collapses the economy and we have rioting in the street? Or can we at least agree to deal with the problem before that occurs?

How long does Medicare have before it can’t afford to pay full benefits anymore regardless of what we pretend it has? 2024 at the best (probably sooner)? But we shouldn’t deal with it now… we should get closer to the explosion first.

I realize you learned your bomb-disarming skills from movies; but you don’t actually have to wait for the timer to get under 10 seconds before you try to disarm the bomb.

Yes, disarming the bomb at 0:01 looks cooler, but really, why not at least try before we get there?

gekkobear on May 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM

karenhasfreedom on May 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM

I haven’t seen any polls since the one that came out in early May and that one was from the Daily Kos/SEIU so take it for what it’s worth. That one had Hochul 35, Corwin 31 and Davis 24.

There have been some pretty hard hitting ads against Jack Davis recently pointing out the fact that he ran three times prior as a Democrat and he sided with Pelosi on some issues. Good ad.

The ads have been running non-stop, one behind the other. A lot of money is being spent. In my area, which is a big Republican area, there are many Corwin signs. I don’t see many Hochul signs. Davis has signs in front of empty lots, that type of thing. He’s spending a lot on advertising. Every web page I visit has his ugly mug on it.

If I find out more info I’ll post it.

NYconservative on May 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Wasn’t this tea party candidate a Democrat not so long ago? hmmmm

Terrye on May 20, 2011 at 5:34 PM

It says little for the voters of NY-26 if they fall for such unvarnished bullsh*t.

Mr. Grump on May 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

…and it says a lot about the press and the GOP organization there.

Vince on May 20, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Davis is a typical Acorn/Working Families Party thug. He should have been arrested for harassment when he hit the guy filming him last week.

gbear on May 20, 2011 at 6:21 PM

I haven’t seen any polls since the one that came out in early May and that one was from the Daily Kos/SEIU so take it for what it’s worth. That one had Hochul 35, Corwin 31 and Davis 24.

There have been some pretty hard hitting ads against Jack Davis recently pointing out the fact that he ran three times prior as a Democrat and he sided with Pelosi on some issues. Good ad.

The ads have been running non-stop, one behind the other. A lot of money is being spent. In my area, which is a big Republican area, there are many Corwin signs. I don’t see many Hochul signs. Davis has signs in front of empty lots, that type of thing. He’s spending a lot on advertising. Every web page I visit has his ugly mug on it.

If I find out more info I’ll post it.

NYconservative on May 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM

http://www.rbj.net/article.asp?aID=187617

Corwin +4 (45-41)

Dreadnought on May 20, 2011 at 7:51 PM

I haven’t seen any polls since the one that came out in early May and that one was from the Daily Kos/SEIU so take it for what it’s worth. That one had Hochul 35, Corwin 31 and Davis 24.

There have been some pretty hard hitting ads against Jack Davis recently pointing out the fact that he ran three times prior as a Democrat and he sided with Pelosi on some issues. Good ad.

The ads have been running non-stop, one behind the other. A lot of money is being spent. In my area, which is a big Republican area, there are many Corwin signs. I don’t see many Hochul signs. Davis has signs in front of empty lots, that type of thing. He’s spending a lot on advertising. Every web page I visit has his ugly mug on it.

If I find out more info I’ll post it.

NYconservative on May 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM

http://www.rbj.net/article.asp?aID=187617

Corwin +4 (45-41)

Dreadnought on May 20, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Whoops, sorry. I didn;’t realize that was an internet poll for readers of RBJ. Please disregard.

Dreadnought on May 20, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Dreadnought on May 20, 2011 at 7:53 PM

No problem. :) If another poll comes out before the election I’ll post it.

NYconservative on May 20, 2011 at 8:38 PM

LMAO, Ronald Reagan gives us an eternal pass. New York Republicans have nothing to come close to him. Instead, NY the country’s No. 1 source of RINOs.

Apologetic California on May 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Jack Kemp and James Buckley from NY weren’t too shabby as Conservatives.

KW64 on May 20, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Not for nothing, but the New York Assembly is becoming a cesspool of GOP losing candidates. Scozzafava? Check. Tedisco? Check.

I know there are other factors at work here, but for the love of God, STOP. RUNNING. ASSEMBLYPERSONS.

Red Cloud on May 21, 2011 at 7:40 AM