Wilson’s Pollster Says Wilson Can Win (Updated)
A reader forwarded a memo sent to GOP/Conservative state comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson’s supporters that contains the “very encouraging results” of a poll his campaign commissioned last week that show he has a good shot at defeating Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli – if he can just let enough New Yorkers know who he is.
“Due to the dire economic and financial conditions of New York State and the very weak ratings of incumbent State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, as long as he has sufficient resources to get his message out, Harry Wilson is very likely to win this election,” pollster John McLaughlin wrote in the memo, which was forwarded by Wilson’s campaign manager Chapin Fay.
“Tom DiNapoli is limited in popularity, receives a negative job rating and is extremely vulnerable on the ballot. In contrast, Harry Wilson has the right background and potential to win this election. It is merely a function of Harry Wilson continuing to get his message out to the voters. “
Or, as Fay put it: “The bottom line is that the survey shows Harry Wilson is very likely to win this election. The key remains continuing to get our message out and having the resources.”
The former hedge fund manager and Westchester County resident is quite well off, and has yet to say exactly how much of his own cash he might spend on his first-ever statewide bid.
According to McLaughlin’s poll of 800 likely general election voters conducted via telephone just before the Labor Day weekend (Aug. 26-29), DiNapoli has a favorable rating of just 25 percent, with 13 percent unfavorable, while 37 percent said they had no opinion and 29 percent had no idea who the former Long Island assemblyman was.
Said McLaughlin: “This is 30 points below where a safe incumbent rates.” Wilson’s own favorable/unfavorable rating wasn’t included in the poll memo, nor was it explicitly noted exactly what percentage of voters polled knew of him.
Public polls have shown Wilson is unknown to as much as 85 percent of the electorate. A July Siena poll showed DiNapoli leading Wilson 48-24 , up from 42-23 in June.
When asked by McLaughlin’s questioners if they “would vote to re-elect (DiNapoli), regardless of who runs against him” only 15 percent say they would. Strong incumbents should receive 30 percent or higher, McLaughlin noted.
In a hypothetical head-to-head match-up, Wilson received 27 percent to DiNapoli’s 32 percent in McLaughlin’s poll, with 40 percent of voters undecided.
Among those who had heard of both candidates, Wilson was slightly ahead, 35-33, although the margin of error for the poll is 3.4 percent, so that’s technically a statistical dead heat. Among those voters who knew Wilson well enough to have a firm opinion of both candidates, Wilson was ahead 51-38.
Here’s what McLaughlin found most encouraging…
In response to the following question, “All things being equal for whom are you more likely to vote for New York State comptroller? A successful businessperson, who has never held public office, but has worked in finance and is running to help steer New York through the current financial crisis, or A career elected official who is running on his experience in politics and government and knows how to create efficient state budgets,” the business person beat the career elected official 53-30.
Wilson has already released two TV ads (back in July), one of which dubbed DiNapoli “Albany Tom” and noted his implication in AG Andrew Cuomo’s pay-to-play pension fund probe. (The Democrats are playing the nickname game, too, calling Wilson “hedge fund Harry”).
Cuomo has done DiNapoli no favors so far this election cycle, making it clear he will not be endorsing the comptroller even though he is the only Democrat running for his statewide office.
UPDATE: DiNapoli campaign spokesman Eric Sumberg sent the following response:
“Wilson’s pollster likely neglected to mention that Harry Wilson is of, by and for Wall Street. One has to assume that his push poll didn’t even mention those words.”
“As The New York Times wrote this morning: ‘…nothing is so radioactive in the precincts of New York as the taint of Wall Street ties.’ That’s practically a script for Harry Wilson’s biography!”
“Wall Street Harry Wilson is in favor of preserving the federal tax loophole that lets hedge fund managers pay less on their taxes than the rest of the state, wants to turn over the pension fund to the same Wall Street bankers that almost brought our economy to its knees, is against President Obama’s Wall Street reform bill AND wants to enforce a $2,500 tax hike on households outside of New York City in his first year if he was elected.”
“Could there be a candidate more transparently for Wall Street than Harry Wilson? He can’t poll away his past and you can count on that message being heard this election cycle.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on September 8, 2010 at 9:32 am, and is filed under Democrats, Harry Wilson, Polls, Republicans, Tom DiNapoli. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|