The State of NY-27; Collins and Hochul in Thunderdome

October NY-27 Siena Poll

The Siena Research Institute polled NY-27 between October 1 and 4.  It surveyed 633 likely voters; 32% Democrats, 39% Republicans, and 27% independents. The headlines? 

Everyone is ignoring the real story – it’s not just the fact that the race for NY-27 between incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Chris Collins is a dead heat, but that Hochul was behind in August.  The crosstabs from that August Siena poll are here

    1. Hochul’s favorables are slipping. Outside of Erie County, her fav/unfav/dnk is 42/40/18 – that’s a dramatic drop from August’s 50/38/5, indicating that Collins’ and SuperPAC ads are having an impact, their falsity notwithstanding. In Erie County, her favorable rating is down by 3 and her unfavorable rating is also down, by two, at 54/37/9.    Collins’ numbers outside Erie County are 46/34/29, as compared with 41/30/29 in August. Within Erie County, Collins has also slipped dramatically, from 57/38/5 to 47/47/6.  Collins’ relentlessly negative campaign is working. 
    2. 54% of the survey respondents say they prefer a majority Republican congress. It’s a testament to the good job that Hochul’s doing that 45% would like to re-elect Hochul to Congress, versus 40% who wouldn’t, and 14% who have no clue. 
    3. President Obama is marginally more popular in the district. His fav/unfav/dnk is 44/52/4. Back in August, 56% of respondents had an unfavorable view of him. Mitt Romney’s numbers are 51/44/5 in this solidly Republican district. If the vote was held today, Obama would lose 51 – 42. In August, that number was 53 – 41. 
    4. 44% of respondents would vote to re-elect Hochul. 44% prefer someone else. 12% don’t know.  This question is stronger for Hochul in Erie County (48/44/8) than outside it (41/45/14). 
    5. On the headline question , 47% say they’ll vote for Hochul, 47% say they’ll vote for Collins, 1% aren’t voting (WTF), and 5% don’t know. In Erie County, Hochul leads 51 – 45, but outside Erie County Collins is leading 48-44. Hochul does mildly better with women than men, and with older voters than those younger than 55. 
    6. 11% of the electorate is still reasonably open to change its mind. 

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (D-NY) (NY-26)

  1. More people think Collins is running the more negative campaign. 
  2. 51% of respondents want to repeal Obamacare. The split outside Erie County is 54/40. 
  3. Hochul and Collins are tied at 43% on the question “whom do you trust to do the right thing when it comes to Medicare”. 15% don’t know, and in Erie County this is Hochul over Collins 48/42; outside Erie it’s Collins over Hochul 43/39. 
  4. When broken down into specific issues like jobs, taxes, health care, the deficit, and “fixing the economy”, Collins is doing better than Hochul. Back in August, Hochul only beat Collins on Afghanistan and education. Not much has changed here.
  5. Back in August, 46% of respondents said Hochul would do a better job than Collins (42%) representing the district’s interests. Now, 47% say Hochul, 42% say Collins, and 11% don’t know. The 1% of August undecideds broke to Hochul, apparently. 
  6. A question from August regarding repealing the Bush tax cuts for high earners was not asked in October. 

With just about a month to go, expect both campaigns to sharpen their attacks. 42% of the sample was from Erie County and 58% from Niagara and parts farther afield. Hochul is underperforming Collins outside of Erie County and will likely address this in the coming weeks. Ultimately, however, it’s amazing that a Democrat is competitive – especially in Erie County – against a man who ran Erie County for 4 years and is purported to be popular with the WBEN crowd, which is practically all anyone ever hears about politically in this region. 

Collins’ Federal Help and “Building That”

John Boehner came to town this past weekend to campaign for Chris Collins. Boehner proudly proclaimed that he had built his small business with no government help. 

I used to run a small business before I ended up in Congress. And you know there were  nights when I would lay in bed worrying about whether the accounts receivable the next day was going to be large enough to meet the payroll. I don’t remember Barack Obama laying there next to me holding my hand. I don’t remember the government offering me some interest-free loan.

The same can’t be said for Chris Collins, however. Collins’ various businesses have benefited from $20 million in federal loans, subsidies, and handouts. In 1983, Collins received a taxpayer funded loan through a $3.5 million bond from Niagara County to move his first business, Nuttall Gear, to that jurisdiction. 

While Chris Collins denounces what Republicans routinely call the “job-killing stimulus”, and refused to spend stimulus money the county applied for and received under his administration, his companies received $442,000 in stimulus awards. Audubon Machinery received the bulk of that through the Department of Health of Human Services, and ZeptoMetrix received a mere $3,000 from that same agency.  Collins’ various companies have been the recipients of a whopping $9.2 million in government loans. 

Collins-owned companies also benefit from $11.5 million in federal contracts. Why a staunch Republican would bid for redistributive socialist work is a question for the ages, but the facts are set forth here

As County Executive, Chris Collins went out of his way to denigrate and demonize the urban poor. Little did we know that he was the biggest welfare queen of all. 


One comment

  • I think it says more about the power of incumbency than anything else. She’s been non-threatening which means she can be palatable to suburban conservatives, and Collins is the kind of dickhead that can lose as a republican.

    Fabulous local politics, as per usual.

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