Democrat Takes Lead in Big NY House Race

Ryan's Medicare plan looms large in special election near Buffalo
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2011 4:26 PM CDT
Democrat Kathy Hochul speaks while holding a pair of boxing gloves in Clarence, N.Y., Monday, May 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/David Duprey)

(Newser) – A closely watched congressional race near Buffalo looks to be tipping in Democrats' favor: A new poll gives Kathy Hochul a 4-point edge over Republican Jane Corwin heading into Tuesday's special election, reports Politico. The race is drawing national attention in part because it's seen as a proxy fight on Paul Ryan's budget/Medicare plan and partly because a good chunk of votes that would presumably go to Corwin are being siphoned away by Tea Party candidate Jack Davis. National groups have been pouring money into the race, GOP ones especially of late.

Hochul has been pounding Corwin in ad after ad by linking her to Ryan's plan and calling her a Medicare killer. Corwin insists she's the one trying to save it. "The national Democrats came down on this 'Oh, you're decimating Medicare!' message," she tells Dave Weigel of Slate. "They just sent it down to my opponent and let her run with it." Weigel's take: This "isn't really a fight over the Ryan plan. It's about which candidate loves Medicare more—or more accurately, about how the other candidate loves it less." So whose seat are the candidates trying to fill? Remember Craigslist cruiser Chris Lee?

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