By Sam Foster
According to the media, NY-26 special election is within striking distance of Democrat Kathy Hochul. Roll Call Online touts the standard MSM analysis:
“…a recently-released Siena poll showed that Hochul was well within reach of an upset -- only trailing Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin by five points. The contest is close, in part, thanks to the presence of the third party candidate Jack Davis, who ran for the seat twice before as the Democratic nominee. Davis took 23 percent in the poll, drawing four points more from Republicans than from Democratic voters.
And she's made Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget a central theme of her campaign - something Democrats are banking on in swing districts nationwide to take back the House. In the Siena poll, there's some evidence the attacks on Corwin's support of the Ryan budget could be having an effect on the senior vote.”
Dissecting the analysis, we arrive at one conclusion supported by two talking points: Kathy Hochul is in a winnable race, because Jack Davis is a Republican spoiler and Paul Ryan’s budget is unpopular.
However, you’ll notice that in the very same article, high profile Democrats are going out of their way to avoid support for Kathy Hochul.
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was asked at his Monday press availability whether he'd be endorsing Hochul, he sidestepped the question, asking, "Any questions besides political questions?"
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has shown no signs of aiding Hochul, even though she has been an effective fundraiser who is running competitively in polling.
Why aren’t Democrats jumping into such a supposedly winnable race? The answer is that talking points aren’t the same as acting points.
The referenced Siena Poll actually debunks, instead of supports, the talking points being rehashed by Roll Call. As I pointed out in my analysis of the poll, Jack Davis is not the traditional spoiler the media is used to. He is talking 24% of the Republican vote, but he’s also taking 20% of the Democrat vote. Generally, a spoiler hurts only one candidate, but Jack Davis is pulling support from both sides. This doesn’t calculate the way November’s NY-23 race between Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny.
Also, a plurality of NY-26 voters wants to see their next congressman vote for Paul Ryan’s budget:
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.
Unfortunately, actions tend to speak softer than headlines. The lack of actual Democrat support for Kathy Hochul is indicative of a politico that knows Hochul is only running a close race in the headlines.