Few people thought Ann Marie Buerkle, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, would win the 2010 election. She didn’t raise a lot of money. Maffei had incumbency on his side. And even though GOP gains were expected nationwide, Buerkle wasn’t included in that mix.
Despite Maffei’s fundraising advantage — he raised $2.3 million more than Buerkle — and being outspent by a four-to-one margin, Buerkle won the election by 648 votes. It was one of the closest races in the country that year and one of the most surprising outcomes.
Fast forward eight years and we are preparing for another midterm election. Like Republicans in 2010, Democrats are hoping for a wave in 2018. The House majority is up for grabs. Control of the Senate is in play, too.
Democrats are targeting several GOP-held House seats across the country, including New York’s 24th Congressional District. The incumbent is U.S. Rep. John Katko, a two-term Republican who has won his previous elections by 20 and 22 points.