In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Democrats Follow Karl Rove's Lead, Dump Cash Into NY-26

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Newscom

The dueling big-money ad buys set up a race to watch in the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester, where the district is located. Normally a reliably Republican enclave, Democrats found a way in after Lee resigned amid scandal. Their way in came in the form of Tea Party candidate Jack Davis, a perennial candidate for the seat who last ran as a Democrat in 2008.

This year, Davis tried to run as both a Republican and Conservative, but was rebuffed and chose a Tea Party line instead. That set him up to split support with Corwin, who a recent poll showed running behind Hochul in the three-way contest.

Democrats would like to cast the race as a referendum on the House budget plan, which includes an end to Medicare as it's currently known -- a plan that voters have not seemed eager to get behind.

House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC considering putting money of its own in the race, told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the tight polls are a sign that even the GOP base is wary of the so-called Ryan Budget.

"House Republicans' budget that would kill Medicare and protect tax breaks for millionaires is about as popular as a root canal even in the most Republican districts as this," spokesperson Ryan Rudominer said in a statement.