“[Democrats] registered a bogus ‘tea party political party’ and got Davis to run. He’s now taking 23 percent of the vote — much of it votes from what would have gone to the Conservative Republican [Jane Corwin],” reads the Tea Party Express message.
The NRCC has been privately concerned about Davis, but has yet to publicly attack him. And while both national parties are reluctant to appear too involved in the local contest, the NRCC began running phone banks out of its Capitol Hill headquarters earlier this week and will continue through election day.
The New York Republican Party is taking a more aggressive position.
In a series of mailers that all but ignore Hochul, the state GOP links Davis to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and “liberal Democrats.” “Meet the Real Jack Davis: A Liberal Democrat That Must Be Stopped,” says the headline on one mailed piece. Another claims he supported Pelosi and President Barack Obama while accepting contributions from ethics-challenged Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.). “With a record like this, how can we trust Jack Davis?” asks the mailer, which features photos of Pelosi, Obama and Rangel.
And as Republicans rally to help save the seat, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has shown steadfast reluctance to help Hochul. Privately, the DCCC suggests that it needs to be smart about distributing its limited resources, especially given that the 26th district may disappear as a result of redistricting. New York is set to lose two Congressional seats.
The New York Democratic Party, meanwhile, is trying to do the best it can in a limited capacity.
“I know I’ve given her the maximum contribution, and I’ve been asking others to do the same,” state party Chairman Jay Jacobs told Roll Call, adding that local county party chairmen will likely begin a phone banking operation at the end of next week.
When asked about the DCCC’s lack of involvement in the race, he said, “They’re doing what they can. I don’t want to say they haven’t done what needs to be done.”
Jacobs considers DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, also of New York, a friend.
“Steve is on board here. He’s taking a solid look at it,” Jacobs said. “He’s got to be prudent and we’ve got to be smart about it. ... It is an overwhelmingly Republican district. And what we don’t want to do is create the story line that we are so engaged in this that should it work out the way every pollster imagines, it comes out to the detriment of the president, or whoever it may be. That’s just not fair.”
Asked about the polling that suggests the seat is within reach, Jacobs said, “I always had the sense it was going to be a little bit closer.”
“It seems like we have a reasonable shot,” he said.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.