Nov 9th - 1:15 pm
The 24th congressional district in central New York has been considered the swingy-est of New York’s battleground House races and with good reason: Every two years since 2008, the sitting incumbent has been turned out of office.
Not so this time.
Rep. John Katko, a Republican first elected in 2014 unseating Democrat Dan Maffei, cruised to re-election over Democrat Colleen Deacon.
The result wasn’t wholly surprising, given Katko’s 23-percentage point lead in a Time Warner Cable News/Siena poll.
But Republicans, and Katko, didn’t take the seat for granted given the popularity of President Obama and the likelihood Republican Donald Trump would not win the district.
Democrats sought to link Katko to Trump throughout the campaign, even as the incumbent lawmaker refused to endorse the nominee and declined to say who he voted for at the top of the ballot.
After winning last night, Katko summed up his win this way: “You can be your own person, you can be an independent and you can make things work.”
Oct 26th - 3:42 pm
Republican Rep. John Katko hasn’t said who he’ll be voting for, but his ballot won’t be one cast for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Instead, the first-term lawmaker who is running for re-election in the 24th congressional district in central New York pledged to be a check on the next administration, regardless of who wins.
“One of two deeply flawed candidates are going to be the president-elect,” Katko said at the end of a Time Warner Cable News debate with Democrat Colleen Deacon on Tuesday.
“The question I have for you is who do you think is going to have a more independent ability to stand up to whomever is in the White House? Who do you think is going to act in a more bipartisan manner in Congress?”
Katko’s comment in his closing statement amounted to a similar strategy Republicans at the national level have discussed as the Trump campaign has faltered since Labor Day amid concerns that will impact competitive down-ballot races.
In the nearby 22nd congressional district, the National Republican Congressional Committee has already aired an ad in which candidate Claudia Tenney is presented as a counterbalance to Clinton in the White House.
For Katko’s part, he insisted in the debate he is yet to make up his mind as to who he will vote for in the presidential campaign, suggesting he may write someone’s name in.
Watch the full debate between Katko and Deacon here.
Oct 20th - 8:19 pm
Republican incumbent Rep. John Katko has broadened an already commanding lead in the NY-24 race, according to an exclusive Time Warner Cable/Siena College poll released this evening.
With three weeks to go before the election, Katko, a freshman Republican, is polling 23 points ahead of his Democratic challenger, former aide to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Colleen Deacon, in the Central New York district. A previous TWC News/Siena poll on the race in early October found Katko ahead by 19 points, leading Deacon 53-34.
Neither congressional candidate received particularly strong favorability ratings in the poll. When asked about Katko, 52 percent said they had a favorable opinion of the congressman.
Only 31 percent of voters have a favorable opinion Deacon. Nearly a third of the people polled said they didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion on Deacon, despite the significant number of TV ads – both positive and negative – that have been running in the district.
The NY-24 race is among a handful of the most competitive House contests in the country. The poll is good news for Katko, whom national Republicans have spent heavily to support in hopes of keeping his seat in GOP hands, since the district has flipped back and forth between the two major parties several times in recent years.
While the district appears to be leaning Republican in the congressional election, Democrats actually hold the advantage there in the presidential contest. If the election were held today, 44 percent of voters said they would vote for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic line, while 34 percent said they’d vote for Donald Trump.
That trend holds true in the U.S. Senate race, too. Incumbent Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is polling 47 points ahead of his Republican challenger Wendy Long in the district.
Deacon and her Democratic allies have been trying hard to tie Katko to Trump. The congressman recently said the GOP nominee should “think seriously” about dropping out of the race following the revelation of his comments about sexually assaulting women in the now infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape.
Katko also said he had decided that he could not vote for Trump under any circumstances, saying he’ll either write in a candidate on the presidential ballot line on Nov. 8 or vote for a to-be-determined third-party candidate.
The Republicans, meanwhile, have sought to portray Deacon as inexperienced and too closely tied to her fellow Democrats to be an independent representative for the closely divided district.
On October 18-19, pollsters asked 673 likely voters their preferences in this race. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.1 percent.
Check out the entire poll here: 24th-congressional-district-poll
Oct 14th - 12:22 pm
Republican Rep. John Katko is among the seven GOP lawmakers endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans in a Friday announcement.
“These endorsed candidates have been steadfast allies of LGBT freedom in the House of Representatives,” Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory Angelo said in a statement.
“All of these common-sense conservatives have not only spoken out in support of equality, but also cast votes in this 114th Congress that confirm their commitment to the cause. LCR PAC salutes these GOP leaders, and pledges to back up our words with actions that show our commitment to them.”
Katko, running for a second term in central New York’s 24th congressional district, faces Democrat Coleen Deacon in next month’s general election.
This is the second time Katko has been endorsed by the LGBT group.
“I’m honored to have once again earned the support of the Log Cabin Republicans,” Katko said. “I’ve long supported the fiscally conservative and inclusive policies that they champion. I will continue to work as Central New York’s Representative in Congress towards our mutual goals of growing our economy, reducing taxes and spending, and pursuing policies that respect individual liberties.”
Oct 13th - 12:10 pm
Republican Rep. John Katko and his Democratic challenger Colleen Deacon will debate on Oct. 25 that will air on Time Warner Cable News.
The debate will begin at 7 p.m. in the race for the 24th congressional district in central New York, a top swing district.
Katko, first elected in 2014, is running for a second term against Deacon, a former representative for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
The debate will on TWC News in Syracuse, Rochester and Watertown on channel 200 and re-air at 10 p.m.
Oct 11th - 3:05 pm
Republican Rep. John Katko said he’s considering his options for the presidential election, after calling on Republican nominee Donald Trump to resign over the weekend.
“There’s options. You can do a write-in candidacy. You can do a third party candidate. They’re out there so I’m going to do one of those two probably,” he said.
But the freshman congressman from Central New York said that’s not really a departure from his plans in the past. Katko said he had never endorsed Donald Trump nor had he said he would vote for him.
“I stayed strong against a lot of opposition, a lot of heat, and in the end I think my position was kind of vindicated because a lot of people are coming around to it now,” he said.
That’s a point of contention in his race against Democrat Colleen Deacon. Deacon said Saturday that her opponent’s call for Trump to step down was just a political maneuver.
“Just a month from Election Day, John’s words are too little, too late. We’ve known who Donald Trump is for months now – from his insults to women, people with disabilities, Gold Star families, and entire cultures. It took everyone else abandoning Trump before Katko finally felt safe enough to agree. Leaders take stands early, they don’t fall in line when politically expedient,” she said.
Deacon referenced an interview in May, when her opponent said he would support the Republican nominee, no matter who it is. By late summer though, Katko was at least a holdout, if not a vocal opponent of Trump.
“Congressman Katko has not endorsed Donald Trump and continues to have concerns about the tone and rhetoric of his campaign,” a spokesperson said in August.
Oct 4th - 12:08 pm
As his re-election bid gets an assist from the National Republican Congressional Committee, Democrats are knocking Rep. John Katko’s ties to Washington Republicans.
In a statement from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Katko is criticized for “marching in lockstep with Republicans” — with a record of voting 80 percent of his time with his party and only 17 percent of the time with President Obama.
To be sure, an 80 percent rate of voting with your party is necessarily all that high.
Still, Obama won the district in 2012 and an exclusive Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll this week found Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in the district by double digits. Katko, however, holds a double-digit lead himself in the central New York district, 53 percent to 34 percent, the poll found.
“It’s laughable that Washington Republicans are running ads attacking Colleen Deacon on independence. As soon as he stepped into Congress, Congressman John Katko secretly forfeited his agenda to Washington Republicans in exchange for campaign cash,” said Bryan Lesswing at the DCCC. “Whether it’s submitting to Washington Republicans or failing to stand up to Donald Trump, Congressman John Katko is the saddest example of independence.”
Oct 4th - 10:56 am
The NRCC today unleashed a trio of ads in three hotly contested congressional districts – NY-19, NY-22, and NY-24 – slamming the Democratic (and in one case, independent) contenders in hopes of bolstering the chances of the GOP contenders as the general election draws closer.
The NY-22 and NY-24 spots are similar, in so much as they cast the non-Republican candidates (remember, there’s an independent – Martin Babinec – and a Democrat – Kim Myers – running in NY-22) as too close to Democrats both here in New York and down in D.C.
The NY-24 spot again uses a clip from Democrat Colleen Deacon’s Capital Tonight interview this past spring, when she couldn’t come up with any policy issue on which she might break from the current House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, even though the district is closely divided and voters there have demonstrated time and again that they prefer independent thinkers.
Yesterday, an exclusive TWC News/Siena poll found freshman Republican Rep. John Katko with a comfortable double-digit lead over Deacon.
The NY-22 spot is something of a twofer, accusing both Babinec and Myers as being too closely aligned – either politically or ideologically – with the Democrats.
The NY-19 ad takes a different approach, criticizing Democrat Zephyr Teachout for supporting the controversial Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration, accusing her of being in “denial” over the potential national security threat that the country poses to the U.S.
According to a recent TWC News/Siena poll, Teachout and her Republican opponent, former Assemblyman John Faso, are running neck-and-neck for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson.
Here are the ads, which were released this morning and are all currently airing in their respective markets.
This comes as NRCC Chairman Greg Walden is due to make a stop in NY-22 tomorrow to support the Republican candidate there, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. Walden would like to keep the seat, which is being vacated by Rep. Richard Hanna, a moderate Republican, in GOP hands.
Oct 3rd - 8:00 pm
Republican Rep. John Katko holds a double-digit percentage point lead over his Democratic challenger Colleen Deacon, a Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll found.
The poll shows Katko leading Deacon in the 24th congressional district race, 53 percent to 34 percent.
The central New York House district is one of the top-tier battleground seats in the upstate region, with voters handing only a single, two-year term to representatives in Congress for the last several cycles.
But Katko, a freshman lawmaker, is prevailing in a district in which Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is leading Republican Donald Trump by 12 percentage points. Clinton leads Trump among 24th congressional district voters 45 percent to 33 percent.
At the same time, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is handily defeating his Republican rival in the district Wendy Long, 62 percent to 28 percent.
And President Obama holds a majority favorable rating in the district, 54 percent to 43 percent.
Katko himself remains popular, with a 51 percent favorable rating, including 50 percent among independent voters. Deacon, meanwhile, has a 32 percent favorable rating, 41 percent of voters don’t know enough about her or have no opinion.
Voters appear to lean to the left on some issues in the district, including the Affordable Care Act — a narrow majority support keeping it and improving the measure — as well as support for creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Voters, however, are also split on which party should control the House of Representatives: 43 percent back a Republican majority, 46 percent want it flipped to Democratic control.
The poll of 655 likely voters in the 24th congressional district was conducted from Sept. 22 through Sept. 29. It has a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points.
Sep 7th - 12:52 pm
Republican Rep. John Katko, the Central New York freshman who is fighting to hold onto his seat in one of the most competitive House races in the nation, is out with his fourth TV ad, which questions the ability of his opponent, Colleen Deacon, to act independently of the Democratic conference if she’s elected in November.
The 30-second ad, called “Meet Colleen,” features the following exchange I had with Deacon during an April 28 Capital Tonight interview:
“Liz Benjamin: Colleen Deacon joins us from the Syracuse newsroom. Do you think that you could be independent and break with the leadership of the Democratic Conference in the House? I mean are you going to be able to say to Nancy Pelosi: ‘NO, I’m going to vote with the Republicans on this one?’
Colleen Deacon: Well, I mean, I think, to be honest with you, I think a lot of what the Democratic Platform is what I stand for. So I don’t know necessarily why I would break away from…um, uh why I would want to break away from any of the issues, you know, anything specifically.”
This isn’t the first time Katko and/or his Republican allies have used these particular words of Deacon’s against her. And it’s not surprisingly that they have seized on this point, either, given the fact that the district – NY-24 – is so closely divided and voters there have demonstrated in the past that they prefer to be represented by someone who thinks for him or her self and doesn’t hew too closely to any particular party ideology.
The ad started airing today on broadcast and cable in CNY. No word on the size of the buy or the duration of the run.