Feb. 10, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Focus Turns to GOTV in New York

Derek Gee/Buffalo News
Republican Jane Corwin is being aided by outside groups, which are pouring money into TV and radio ads as well as targeted get-out-the-vote efforts.

The airwaves of western New York are nearing complete saturation with political ads tied to Tuesday’s special election.

With news that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pumping $60,000 into yet another television advertising campaign, there are now more than 10 political entities — including the three campaigns battling for the open 26th district seat — fueling a steady stream of attack ads on local television and radio stations.

And with the election just six days away, many groups have shifted their attention to the ground game and turnout.

Democrats continue to believe they can steal a seat in one of the Empire State’s most conservative districts, but the GOP and its allies will devote considerable resources to ensure that like-minded voters make it to the polls Tuesday.

The Tea Party Express will begin robocalls today targeting the district’s 70,000 Republican households, according to the national organization’s spokesman, Levi Russell, who is among a handful of Tea Party Express staffers on the ground in western New York this week.

“The idea is to hit every household twice,” he said of the calls that will feature Tea Party Express leader Amy Kremer attacking third-party candidate Jack Davis.

“This is kind of an unusual race where we know so well who we need to target — registered Republican voters,” Russell continued, noting his group will pay for as many as 150,000 robocalls through Election Day and will likely supplement that with a national phone-bank operation. “That means we can hit them with the calls; we can go straight to them rather than hit the airwaves.”

Another conservative outside group, American Crossroads, disclosed plans late Tuesday to spend about $375,000 on the race in the next six days. The investment will include a television and Web ad component, in addition to targeted phone calls and mail to drive turnout.

Republican volunteers from Capitol Hill are expected to flow into the region in the coming days to staff an all-hands-on-deck canvassing effort to support GOP nominee Jane Corwin, who is
now locked in a tight race with Davis and Democrat Kathy Hochul.

“Republicans are mounting an aggressive [get-out-the-vote] effort with enthusiastic volunteers from all over the district who will ensure Western New York families understand that Jane is the only candidate in the race that will cut taxes, reduce spending and create jobs [in] Congress,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said in an email.

The Davis campaign — the target of most conservative attacks — joked about the expected influx of Republican supporters.

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