Another special election in New York that is turning into a tight race for a GOP candidate initially favored to win overwhelmingly:
A survey done by Siena College shows a tight race for the seat vacated by former Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.), with Democratic Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul in striking distance of Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, with 36 percent for Corwin and 31 percent for Hochul. Third-party candidate Jack Davis, who’s running on the Tea Party line, is pulling 23 percent of the vote.
Davis was initially dismissed by Republicans as a crank; the millionaire businessman ran for the seat unsuccessfully in 2004, 2006, and 2008 as a Democrat.
Davis is taking a good chunk of Democratic votes in the poll, but he pulls more from Republicans and independents. In a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats 40 percent to 32 percent, and 28 percent of voters are in neither party, Hochul has the most to gain from a divided field.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not yet given much public attention to the contest, but strategists say that they’re likely just lowering expectations in a tough race and that spending on the Democratic side will increase over the next few weeks. “We’ll continue working with the campaign and tracking developments closely,” said Josh Schwerin, a DCCC spokesman.