A check of the numbers shows that four years ago, President Obama carried the newly drawn NY21 by six points 52-46. Mitt Romney's light numbers in this once thought GOP area were certainly not helpful to Republican Matt Doheny who lost to then Rep. Bill Owens by fewer points.
All this makes NY21 one of about 26 now GOP districts that were carried by Mr. Obama. This year you can add on Hillary Clinton's rapport with the region from her years as a Senator.
In NY 21 a Republican is not likely to offer more than perfunctory support for their party's choice for the White House, as that choice is likely to be a drag.
The difference in 2016 is the GOP nominee is a candidate running against the institutions and ways of Washington so those emotions animating voters may tug further at down ballot candidates who are seen as not embracing the shake em up agenda.
Hence the standoffish attitude.