Despite a Democratic voter enrollment advantage and the possibility of a "blue wave" in November, a political forecaster believes U.S. Rep. John Katko is well-positioned to win re-election in the 24th Congressional District race.
Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman wrote Wednesday that a handful of Republicans hold leads in their districts, according to internal campaign polling. One of the GOP members he mentioned is Katko, R-Camillus, who is seeking a third term in Congress.
Katko and the other Republicans "appear to be defying the 'blue wave' in Democratic-leaning seats," Wasserman explained.
Cook Political Report rates the 24th district race as "likely Republican," meaning the publication believes Katko is favored to win. His opponent is Democratic candidate Dana Balter, who won a primary in June to set up the general election contest.
A poll released by Speak Out Central New York, a progressive group, showed Balter leading by four points. On Twitter, Wasserman called that an outlier and again referred to the internal polling in the race.
The internal polls haven't been released, but they reportedly show Katko leading Balter in the 24th district race. It's routine for campaigns to commission polls, but the results usually aren't released to the public.
Katko was first elected to Congress in 2014. He won that race and his re-election campaign in 2016 by at least 20 points.
In 2016, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the 24th district by four percentage points over Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Democrats are expected to pick up several House seats this year. The neighboring 22nd Congressional District is a top target for the party. U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, a freshman Republican who recently campaigned with President Donald Trump, is facing a tough re-election bid. Her opponent is Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a Utica Democrat.
Cook Political Report rates NY-22 as a toss up.
Republicans may lose control of the House, but Katko appears to be in a strong position for re-election. He has a significant financial advantage over Balter — he reported more than $1.6 million in his campaign account last month — and he released his second television ad this week.