Martin Babinec is a candidate in the NY-22 congressional race. He is currently running as an independent, but recent promotional media from the Babinec Campaign calls question to this. A recent political flyer is raising eyebrows and has garnered a public denouncement from an elected official.
As multiple news media sources have reported, Martin Babinec started his attempt to be elected in a plea to the Herkimer County Republicans to endorse him even though he was not a Republican, was a supporter of Hillary Clinton, and supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo – who not long ago demanded that Conservatives and Republicans leave the State (600,000 people have left New York, along with $5.4 billion in tax revenue, under Gov. Cuomo). He was rejected by all the Republican County Committees. Mr. Babinec then went to the Independence Party. But upon failing to follow the basic rules on petitions, was kicked out of the race.
That did not stop Martin Babinec. He self-funded himself $1 million, and started to run ads as if he were in the race. In June, 3 months after getting kicked out of the race, Mr. Babinec gained enough votes from the Reform Party (one of the smallest political lines available on the ballot) to re-enter the race. The ads for the Babinec campaign never stopped, nor mentioned any of this to the public.
In the mean time, Martin Babinec put in another $1.7 million dollars into his campaign. In total 99.3% of all donations ($2,717,597) to the Babinec campaign only came from the candidate. While that may sound impressive, the $17,597 in donations from supporters since February indicate a lack of support among voters in the NY-22. Which is confirmed by polls indicating Babinec had only 21% of the vote as of September, with indications that he has lost ground since those polls [On 11/3/16 TWC News/Siena Poll confirmed this showing Martin Babinec at 16%].
In any election, a lack of support as seen in donations can be a clear indication of the prospects to win that race. It’s politics 101. But the clearest indication of where Martin Babinec stands in the race may be the most recent flyer sent out by his campaign. A flyer [see image below – notation added in black] that drew a public response from NY State Senator Fred Akshar (who is expected to win his re-election by wide margins).
On November 1, 2016, NY 52nd State Senator Fred Akshar announced on Facebook,
“It’s sad that some misleading mail is circulating in our community. I have NOT made any endorsements for any candidates, including Mr. Babinec. I’ve remained focused on the 52nd Senate District and that won’t change.”
In an election season that has been highlighted by a candidate that is under FBI investigation for the 2nd time in the presidential race, and a congressional race that has been engulfed by negative ads, this stands apart. Some consider this the equivalent of the efforts of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz during the Democratic Primary; where Sen. Bernie Sanders was systematically undermined and voters manipulated to ensure a Hillary Clinton victory.
The response on Facebook has been swift. Comments range from support for Republican candidate Claudia Tenney
Randy Lambrecht I thought that to be the case. Now Claudia Tenney has my vote for sure
to support for State Senator Akshar
Donna Muckey you are such a honest person , so rare these days. Thank God for people like you. You have our vote for sure . Consider running for the President job?
to anger at media and Martin Babinec
Cookie Payne Thanks for getting your good word out to us. Media can be so deceiving…
Wesley Jones It wasn’t the media. Mr. Babinec paid for and sent the flyer.
Given the public outcry, speculation on this damaging the Babinec Campaign is high among pundits that follow the race. The question now seems to be if Martin Babinec will be able to recover and exceed the previous best performance of a 3rd Party candidate in the NY 22nd Congressional race. That record for modern elections was in 2002 when Steven Greenfield won 1.6% of the vote for the Green Party.
The last time a 3rd party candidate won the NY-22 District was Andrew Z. McCarty in 1855 for the Opposition Party (an anti-slavery Party that would become the Republican Party). Since 1843 the NY-22 has been won by a 3rd Party candidate twice, by Democrats 10 times, and by Republicans 24 times. The 2016 NY election will be on November 8, 2016.