Chris Collins can sleep at night, although it may be with one eye open. Recent internal polling finds Collins ahead of Poloncarz, at least according to the Collins insiders. The numbers are not as lopsided as Collins victory over Keane almost four years ago, but secure for the moment.
The concern among Collins' handlers is that the CE will implode like he did in his brief run for Governor. The book on Chris is that he likes a wine or two while out on the campaign trail and that is when he is most vulnerable to off color, often vulgar miscues.
Collins' has also been pulled over more than once by a Erie County Sheriff Deputy while on his way to his home in Clarence having had a bit too much of the grape. Collins' has been able to keep those incidents out of the media, but that should change before November. As we wrote in an earlier posting, Collins gave a job to the son of a Deputy who had pulled him over earlier this year. We will keep the young man's name off the record because it's not his fault Collins' bought his way out of a ticket by giving him a job. Do not expect Poloncarz to be so generous.
It will take a public "I gotcha" from Poloncarz to gain ground on Collins. The CE has wide spread support, but not very deep as one Republican insider put it. A Kathy Hochul could have flipped that support if she had chosen to run for the CE position because of her popularity, but Poloncarz has mediocre positive numbers.
Collins budget announcement yesterday was another one of his typical "run it like a business" moments. Cut over 300 jobs, but only a third are even active and many of them will be re-instated internally or by the Legislature before 2012. Collins also left out the culturals again, choosing to play the same game of chicken with Maria Whyte and supporters. Collins keeps funding to those entities with powerful boards like the Zoo, but not the "hippie" crowd as he privately refers to them.
The Doctor has been a bit selective in writing these blogs the past week because the Collins storm troopers are on the move seeking us out. As long as we can stay one step ahead and watch them from across the food court in the Main Place Mall we should be okay.