( – promoted by Shaun Appleby)
Polls close at 9PM EDT in New York for the special election in New York’s 26th congressional district. This seat was opened up by the resignation of Congressman Chris “Craigslist” Lee and it is attracting considerable national attention.
While highly favoured to be a safe Republican seat in normal circumstances the presence of a Tea Party candidate, the former Democratic challenger Jack Davis, and the arguably disastrous political miscalculation inherent in the Ryan budget Medicare phase-out has put the seat in play.
Recent polling shows a slight lead for the Democratic challenger, Kathy Hochul, who had aggressively campaigned on the Medicare issue for several weeks:
One day ahead of a special congressional election to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Chris Lee (R) in a traditionally red district, a new PPP poll finds Democrat Kathy Hochul on top by six points.
Among likely voters, Hochul came in at 42%, followed by Republican Jane Corwin at 36%, and Tea Party candidate Jack Davis at 13%.
Jon Terbush – Dem Hochul Leads By Six Points In NY-26 Special Election TPM 23 May 11
Concerns over the result have led the Republicans to dump large sums of money into the campaign in recent weeks, between them the NRCC and American Crossroads have spent over a million dollars on the race in an attempt to pull Corwin’s irons out of the fire.
Update: Hochul for the win. AP calls it for Hochul at 10:22PM EDT
Both parties have brought in the big guns, apparently Republicans have enlisted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Democrats former President Bill Clinton to record last-minute robocalls on behalf of the respective candidates. Steny Hoyer spoke up this morning:
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said at his weekly briefing this morning that no matter whether Hochul gets the upset, Democrats have already delivered a resounding message by making what should have been a “slam dunk” a nail-biter because of the Ryan budget.
Hoyer said the message from voters is: “We don’t want you to turn over our security to the insurance companies, we don’t want them making our decisions, we don’t want you to take a guarantee away from us to have security in our health care in our senior years.”
“You made them spend over $1 million in a district that should have been a yawn and vote,” said Hoyer.
Jessica Taylor – NY-26 Live Blog: Ready For Court National Journal 24 May 11
This will be interesting.