Good News For Dems (And Jeff Klein?) In 2 Of 3 Siena Senate Polls
Siena released a trip of state Senate polls today that bring good news for the underdog Democrats with Election Day right around the corner.
It appears the minority conference is on track to swipe at least one GOP held seat upstate (the 55th), and perhaps could eke out a victory in another (the newly created 46th).
Siena pollster Stevse Greenberg noted the three districts surveyed, which also includes the 43rd currently held by GOP Sen. Roy McDonald, who lots his September primary bid for the GOP line, are seen as among the key races in the Democrats’ attempt to retake the Senate majority.
In order for there to be 32 Democrats in the new 63-member Senate, Democrats have to hold two downstate seats the 15th in Queens (NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich vs. Sen. Joe Addabbo) and the 37th in Westchester (Bob Cohen vs. Assemblyman George Latimer) that previous Siena polling showed to be tight races, and also win three additional seats.
The Republicans believe they have a strong chance of winning in the 15th and 37th.
But Sandy changed things dramatically in the Queens race, hitting the portion of the district that is Ulrich’s base very hard.
It’s even unclear at this point where polling sites will be, much less whether storm-ravaged New Yorkers will manage – or care enough – to cast their votes next Tuesday.
Several Republicans I’ve talked to are feeling dejected about Ulrich’s chances, even though he was once viewed as a rising star, and have more or less written off the race as a result of the storm.
Of course, the wildcard here is what the four-member IDC, led by Sen. Jeff Klein (who, by the way, is running on the GOP line next Tuesday), will do in the event of a close divide in the Senate when it comes time to vote for a majority leader.
We’ve all been speculating for months now that Klein will be a kingmaker after the Election Day dust settles. That’s looking more and more possible as the campaign comes to a close.
Despite that uncertainty, the Democrats are – not unexpectedly – feeling quite upbeat after seeing these Siena results.
“Our path to the majority is clearer than ever as we look forward to a successful Election Day on Tuesday.”
And Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif sent this response to the polls:
“The latest polls show that Senate Republicans remain well-positioned to retain our majority.”
“That’s good news for taxpayers, businesses and middle-class families, who have seen a dramatic and positive shift in the way business is being done in Albany since Governor Cuomo and Senate Republicans began working together to turn New York around.”
Here’s the breakdown of today’s polls:
1) Monroe County Legislator Ted O’Brien has a double digit lead over his GOP opponent, Assemblyman Sean Hanna, in the race for the 46th district, currently represented by retiring Sen. Jim Alesi.
(Alesi, as you’ll recall, is one of the four Republican senators who voted “yes” on same-sex marriage last summer. He decided not to seek re-election this year).
O’Brien now leads Hanna 50-39 – a big gain over his showing in last month’s Siena poll, in which he trailed Hanna by eight percentage points.
According to Siena pollster Steve Greenberg, O’Brien picked up support across the board, strengthening his standing with fellow Democrats and also gaining ground among independents, with whom he now leads, 51-39, after trailing 50-34 in September.
O’Brien has an overwhelming 26-point lead in the northern part of the district, where he was once ahead by just one percentage point, and he’s way ahead with women, too – a whopping 21 points.
Brien is viewed favorably by 39 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 35 percent, with 26 percenthaving no opinion (it was 22-26-52 percent last month).
Hanna has a negative 34-47 percent favorabilityrating (down from a positive 37-29 percent last month), with 18 percent having no opinion.
O’Brien remains unknown by more voters in the 46th, but is viewed more favorably than Hanna. And voters also feel Hanna has run the more negative campaign.
More good news for O’Brien: President Obama continues to have a strong lead over Mitt Romney in this district. (56-41).
Reif had some pretty strong comments about this particular race, trashing O’Brien for running a “one of the most deceitful, disgusting and dishonest campaigns in New York political history.”
“If he were at all interested in running a campaign worthy of a State Senate candidate, the Fair Election Practices Committee’s recent ruling that exposed his entire campaign as a lie would make him think twice about going down this road,” Reif continued.
“Instead, he continues to make malicious and untrue statements about Sean Hanna’s pro-taxpayer, pro-family record.”
“Residents of the 55th Senate District need to know that a vote for Ted O’ Brien is a vote to put the New York City Democrats and their special interest allies, who want to overturn the property tax cap and obstruct Governor Cuomo’s agenda, back in control of the State Senate.”
“That would be a disaster for the middle-class families who call Monroe and Ontario counties home.”
2) In the 46th district, which was drawn by the Senate Republicans during redistricting specifically with their candidate, Assemblyman George Amedore, in mind and to increase their changes of training the majority, the Democrats’ contender, Cecelia Tkaczyk, trails by just three percentage points. (47-44).
He’s doing better with members of his own party, leading with Republicans 80 percent to her 75 percent among Democrats, and also is ahead 48-42 with independents.
Tkaczyk has a seven point lead in the Ulster/Greene portion of the district, while Amedore leads by 13 pointsin the Albany/Montgomery/Schenectady portion.
Amedore leads by six points with men and he trails Tkaczyk by a single point among women.
She remains unknown by 42 percent of votes, compared to his 23 percent. Obama leads Romney in the district, 48-44.
Tkaczyk appears to have momentum on her side here. The big question is whether her name recognition can rise in a positive direction in time for Election Day.
Greenberg called this race “wide open” as the race moves into the its final days in which the so-called “ground game” – getting supporters out to the polls – is crucial.
A lot of last-minute money has been pouring into this district, two outside PACs have been spending big on Tkacyzk’s behalf, and the Senate Republicans have invested to boost Amedore.
This could be a squeaker.
3) Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione has the support of 40 percent of voters in the 43rd SD compared to just 25 percent for Democrat Robin Andrews.
The spoiler? McDonald, whose name remains on the Independence Party line, where he’s pulling 29 percent of the vote even though he’s not actively campaigning.
Twenty-six percent of Republicans in the district still say they’re supporting McDonald, who also voted “yes” on same-sex marriage and faced a primary from the more conservative Marchione as a result.
Independents aredivided with 38 percent supporting Marchione, 35 percent supporting McDonald and 20 percent Andrews.
Fifty-five percent of those who saying they’re backing McDonald also say they’re sticking with that choice come Election Day.
Obama is leading Romney 50-45 in this district.
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