Buffalo, N.Y. - In the race between Kathy Hochul and Chris Collins in the 27th congressional district, the national Republican party is putting its money where its mouth is. At this point, the same cannot be said for the Democrats.
In the first real concrete sign that the national Republican party feels that Collins can defeat Hochul in November, it says it will spend $575,000 in commercials for Collins between now and election day.
The first ad began running Friday morning and like Collins' own ads do, it ties Hochul to President Obama.
The new 27th has seven percent more Republicans than Democrats and last month in an exclusive 2 On Your Side/Buffalo News Siena College poll, Mitt Romney was leading Obama by 53%-41% in the district.
Scott Brown: "How much is the president a millstone around Kathy Hochul's neck in this race?"
Political Analyst Mike Haselswerdt of Canisius College: "Well he's obviously a problem. Her ads have gone out of their way to stress her independence from Obama and being tied to an unpopular president is hard."
So far Hochul has done a good job in an uphill battle- our poll showed the race neck and neck with Collins at 47% and Hochul at 45%.
The big question now is will the national Democratic party respond with commercials of its own on Hochul's behalf.
2 On Your Side tried all day on Friday get an answer, but a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wouldn't respond, saying only in a statement that Hochul was a "strong candidate."
That could be a potential sign of big trouble for Hochul because traditionally the party is only going to invest money in races that it believes it can win.
After our piece aired Friday at 6 p.m., a spokesperson for the House Majority Political Action Campaign, or PAC, Andy Stone, contacted 2 On Your Side. He said that his PAC, which backs Democrats, has reserved $510,000 worth of television advertising in both the Buffalo and Rochester markets.
Another potential problem for Hochul is Karl Rove, the former top advisor to president Bush who now runs his own Super PAC.
In some other congressional races in New York, once the national party has jumped in, Rove has followed with commercials of his own.
If Rove does get involved supporting Collins, there's a chance that Hochul could be out-spent by a margin of two or three to one over the last weeks of the campaign.