This election season in the generally “blue” state of New York, the race to win the state’s Republican-leaning 27th Congressional District is heating up with a dead tie between current Democrat Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Chris Collins. But how encouraging can this tie be for Hochul in a district whose record is not in her favor?
Last year, Hochul won the three-way race to replace former Congressman Chris Lee in the 26th District. Lee resigned after some scandalous photos of him showed up on the Internet, and Hochul narrowly won the election against Republican Jane Corwin and Tea Partier Jack Davis. Collins’ experience lies in being a successful private sector businessman and former Erie County Executive in New York.
A recent Siena poll shows that Hochul and Collins are in a dead tie each with 47% in the District, but in this case the polls can only tell us so much. We’re looking at a district where Barack Obama won only 45% of votes in 2008 and a race in which the Republican candidate has a notable monetary advantage.
Needless to say, the recent numbers have spurred even fiercer competition between the candidates. Combined, Hochul and Collins and Super PACs supporting each candidate have spent over $4 million on ads in Buffalo and Rochester, and the two are upping their efforts to reach voters personally in the days following their third and final debate. Both Hochul and Collins will be frantically making appearances in all eight counties of the 27th District in the final days leading up to the November 6th election.
While Collins will be focusing largely on reaching the Republican base, both need to gain support of Independents in the district. The same Siena poll that reported the tie gave Hochul an eight-point lead over Collins with independents.
A recent Buffalo News online article said that “it just seems like Collins, as the Republican, has a clearer path to victory” in the increasingly Republican-leaning district.