Each day this week we will focus on one of the Upstate New York races included in Operation Counterweight.  As mentioned before, Upstate NY is critical to holding the House, as several seats were gained by Republicans in an otherwise blue state in 2010.  There also are good chances to flip one or two seats away from vulnerable Democrats.

We hope you will make a donation to each of the campaigns this week, as even small amounts of money help the campaigns in these mostly rural districts.

As before, these analyses were prepared by a Cornell student who wishes to remain anonynous.

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In Western New York’s new 27th Congressional District, Chris Collins faces Democrat Kathy Hochul (currently of NY-26), known for her use of Mediscare tactics in a 2011 special election.

This time around, Republicans and Collins are pushing back on Medicare against Hochul, who is widely considered the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in Upstate New York. Nonetheless, a Siena poll of likely voters from mid-August showed a statistical dead heat , but it’s worth noting that the same poll found the district leaning towards Romney 53% to 41%. For Hochul to win, she will have to succeed in spite of this trend.

Collins, formerly the County Executive of Erie County and successful businessman, seems to have the necessary background. Hochul’s current strength, as shown in the Siena poll, is grounded in her continued rhetoric about protecting Medicare. If Collins can wrestle that message away from her and simply increase his favorability among Republicans (a surprising 36% of whom supported Hochul in the poll), the race could widen quite a bit.

Check out Chris Collins’ campaign website and consider making a donation in a very important race.