TPM is going to be covering the NY-26 results live tonight, so for those planning on joining us for the main event, here are a few things to keep an eye on.
New York's 26th district leans Republican, but Democrats have run a few competitive races in recent years, which givies us a decent picture of what a winning margin might look like tonight on the county level. Ironically, their high water mark came in 2006 when their candidate was Jack Davis, a lifelong anti-trade Republican now running as a Tea Party independent in the special election and wreaking havoc on the race.
In 2006, Democrats pulled in 48% of the vote versus 52% for Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY). Key to Davis' surprise surge were majorities in Erie County, the most populous part of the district, and Niagara County, another major population center. Those two were enough to keep it close even as Davis lost every other county, including well-populated Monroe.
In Hochul's case, she'll need to be the clear winner in Erie, where she's county clerk, and Niagara to even have a shot. She will likely need to improve significantly on the Democrats 14-point loss in Monroe county from 2006 to make up most of the remaining ground. But Hochul is lucky enough to have Davis running again, so key to her success will be whether he can take a significant chunk of the vote in the various Republican strongholds.
A strong showing for Davis could give the Dems significantly more leeway -- if he runs up numbers of 15% or more, Hochul could put the race away with a weak plurality in the low to mid 40s. Corwin and her conservative supporters have spent a lot of time tearing Davis down this month, so there's a considerable amount of uncertainty as to just how much support he'll be able to turn out.