One of the architects behind Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Steve Bannon, will be in Elma for a "Get Out the Vote Rally" on Oct. 24 at the Jamison Road Fire Hall. WBFO's Marian Hetherly talked with Political Consultant Michael Caputo, who has been working with Bannon on about 30 close Republican races nationwide this midterm election and said people will start gathering at 4:30 p.m.
Among his comments, Caputo said he does not have complete confidence in this week's Siena College Research poll, which found a statistical dead heat between Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Collins with Democratic challenger and Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray in the 27th district. However, Caputo acknowledged the race will be very close to the end, and he has been on daily conference calls with Bannon and others concerned about keeping the district red.
Voter turnout is much lower in midterm election years than in presidential election years and 2014 turnout was the lowest since 1942. However, indications are that turnout this year may be much higher — more like that seen in the 1960s, another time of social and cultural upheaval. Caputo said turnout will be important for Republicans and Democrats.
That is why the GOP is bringing in one of its big guns to help sway close races. Bannon built his career on right-wing politics, helping Donald Trump win the White House in 2016. Wednesday's Elma visit is thought to be his first to Western New York.
Caputo said he has been working with Bannon on about 30 tight midterm races across the country. He said Collins' indictment on insider trading is affecting other New York campaigns, including the five-candidate race for governor and in the 147th Assembly District, where Democrat Luke Wochensky is challenging Republican incumbent David DiPietro.