A closely watched special election in upstate New York is evolving into a referendum on the plan put forth by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that calls for the most extensive overhaul of Medicare in the program’s history, The New York Times reports.
Republican candidate Jane Corwin, a popular state assemblywoman, is losing steam in what was supposed to be an easy bid to replace former Rep. Chris Lee—Craigslist’s most infamous shirtless man—in a heavily red district.
Following her Democratic opponent Kathy Hochul’s denunciation of Ryan’s daring 2012 budget proposal, Corwin encountered a no-win hurdle: If she stood by the plan, she would be faced with backlash from both sides for being either too extreme, or -- according to the tea party -- not extreme enough; if she followed Hochul’s lead and came out against the proposal, already passed by House Republicans, she risked alienating her base.
Adding to Corwin’s difficulties: Third-party contender Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party line, has already swiped a significant chunk of the conservative base. Hotline editor Reid Wilson points out that as chaos on the right escalates, the election might see involvement from national Democrats.
Voting will take place on May 24.
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