What the Chris Collins Campaign May Look Like

Caputo: It's Going to be a Difficult Race, No Question

WBEN photo/Susan Rose


Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - It's seven weeks until election day.  Now that the ballot is set in NY-27, what kind of campaign will indicted Congressman Chris Collins run? 

Strategist and WBEN contributor Michael Caputo says this is not the hand that Republican party chairs wanted, but it's what they've been dealt.  "It's going to be a difficult race, no question" said Caputo.

If he was advising the Collins team, what kind of campaign would he run?   "TV, TV, TV and direct mail" he said.  "I would spend a good amount of money on defining Nate McMurray. The people of NY 27 don't know who he is".  What about news conferences and interviews asked Susan Rose?  "There's no upside to Chris Collins making public appearances.  It's going to be very difficult" said Caputo. 

Caputo said as a Republican, he has to believe that the party is better off running with Collins starting now - than if he was replaced by someone who ultimately could be knocked off the ballot by a judge two weeks before the election.  "This is not the best thing for Republicans but we have a candidate who can define Nate McMurray and also get out the vote".  Caputo said "we have 50 days to do it and we have 1.3 million dollars to do it". 

Caputo is very involved in keeping the House in Republican control.   He is on conference calls every day with Steve Bannon and a host of other Republicans. "There is no blue wave, but there is no red wave either" he said.  "This is a knife fight in about 25 to 30 congressional districts".  The Collins race makes it 31.  If the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gets in with a couple of million bucks, Caputo says McMurray could win.

Getting out the vote is going to be key. Caputo points to what happened on Primary day. "Democrats turned out twice as many voters as they did in 2014.  They're geared up, they've got the machine ready to go".

He said what Erie County Party Chairman Nick Langworthy was trying to do - was in uncharted waters.  Then Collins sunk the boat.  "But now they're back in uncharted waters again. How do they run a campaign with an indicted Congressman?  Look at what happened with Rep Michael Grimm when he was indicted in 2014 on tax fraud and other charges.  He eventually went to jail.  He was out every day, campaigning door to door.  This is not THAT campaign said Caputo. "I don't think Collins wants to be Michael Grimm".

Caputo thinks it comes down to a simple choice in NY27.  "It's about keeping the seat in Republican hands".






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