NY-19

Eldridge Plays Up NYT Endorsement, Pay Equity In New Ad

Though he continues to trail his GOP opponent by double digits, Democrat Sean Eldridge is still forging ahead with his campaign in NY-19, releasing yet another TV ad that highlights his recent endorsement by the New York Times.

The Gray Lady praised Republican Rep. Chris Gibson for being will to buck his own party – “at least occasionally.” But criticized his lack of support for “the Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage or comprehensive immigration reform, all of which are important to the lives of his constituents.”

As for Eldridge, the paper liked his “fresh face and strong ideas,” praising his “energetic” advocacy for same-sex marriage and campaign finance reform, and highlighting is pledges to be a champion for reproductive rights and equal pay for women.

Pay equity has been a big issue in this campaign cycle, but more so at the state level, where it is one plank of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act.

Eldridge has now spent more than $4 million of his own cash on his campaign. According to the second TWC News/Siena poll of this race, all that money hasn’t managed to budge voters much, or convince them to support the Democratic newcomer.

Here’s the script for Eldridge’s latest ad, which hits the airwaves tomorrow:

“Every day I hear from families who are struggling – who feel like the deck is stacked against them and no one in Washington is on their side. It’s time that changed.”

“I’m Sean Eldridge. I run a company that invests in local small businesses to help them succeed and create jobs. In Congress, I’ll fight to make college more affordable and make sure women get equal pay for equal work.”

“Washington is broken. We need an advocate who will shake things up and put families first.”

“I’m Sean Eldridge, and I approve this message.”

TWC News/Siena College Poll: Gibson Lead Unchanged Over Eldridge

With a week to go before Election Day, Republican Congressman Chris Gibson is on track to win a third term over his Demcoratic challenger, Sean Eldridge, according to an exclusive Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll of the 19th congressional district.

The poll found Gibson leading Eldridge 58 percent to 35 percent — a 23 percentage point gap. That’s virtually unchanged from a poll released in September that showed Gibson with a 24-point lead. Meanwhile, Gibson enjoys a high favorable rating — 60 percent. Eldridge, a first-time candidate, has become better known, but 35 percent of voters hold an unfavorable view of him compared to 33 percent who view him favorably.

Gibson remains well liked among Republicans, with 78 percent supporting him. Democrats are split, but not by much: 41 percent hold a favorable view compared to 45 percent who do not.

Overall, 28 percent of Democrats poll said they would vote for Gibson, compared to 67 percent who side Eldridge.

Perhaps most problematic for Eldridge is a solid majority of voters have made up their minds in the race: 69 percent say they have made their decision, with no chance they’ll change their mind. Of those voters, 71 percent say they’re voting for Gibson.

“Barring some dramatic, unforeseen event in the closing week of this campaign, the voters are clearly locked in,” Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg said.

Gibson’s lead comes despite a flurry of advertising on television and the radio from Eldridge’s campaign The ads have blasted Gibson for supporting hydrofracking and for campaign contributions his opponent says influenced his votes in Washington. But the ads have apparently had little impact.

Gibson, too, has spent heavily on ads knocking Eldridge as a carpetbagger, while the National Republican Campaign Committee has provided some attack ads as well.

Nevertheless, a plurality of voters — 40 percent — believe Eldridge is running the more negative campaign.

In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo trails Republican Rob Astorino in the 19th congressional district 38 percent to 39 percent. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins receives 14 percent of the vote.

It’s a reverse for Cuomo, who last month led Astorino 39 percent to 36 percent. Nevertheless, Siena pollster Steve Greenberg says that’s a reflection of the closely divided congressional district.

The poll of 727 likely voters in the NY-19 was conducted from Oct. 22 through Oct. 24. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

CD191014 Crosstabs by Nick Reisman

Gibson Ad: You Don’t Know Eldridge

The latest ad from Republican Rep. Chris Gibson is short, but to the point: Democrat Sean Eldridge is is misleading voters.

The 15-second TV commercial — airing in the costlier New York City broadcast market — also includes a cameo from The New York Post’s Fred Dicker.

The spot contends that Eldridge is “running false ads on fracking” and reignites the carpetbagging charge that he moved to the 19th congressional district only to run for the Hudson Valley House seat.

Gibson even finds time in the spot to reference The New York Times profile that featured the expansive home Eldridge and his husband Chris Hughes share.

Here’s the script:

Narrator: Think you know Sean Eldridge?

Fred Dicker: Nobody really knows anything…

Narrator: Except he moved here to buy a district and is running false ads on fracking, leading our neighbors to ask “how can he expect to represent people he doesn’t know?”

Chris Gibson: I’m Chris Gibson and I approve this message.

A Siena College/Time Warner Cable News poll will be unveiled this evening taking a look at the race for the 19th congressional district.

Gibson Releases 5th Ad of NY-19 Race, ‘Clear Choice’ (Updated)

Rep. Chris Gibson released his fifth TV ad of his re-election battle in NY-19 with his opponent, Sean Eldridge – a spot that seeks to highlight the main differences between the incumbent Republican congressman and the Democratic newcomer.

The ad, “Clear Choice,” is a sort of amalgamation of arguments Gibson has made throughout the campaign. It touts the congressman’s record in public office and paints him as a dedicated local family man, while also swiping at Eldridge, depicting him as an inexperienced carpbetbagger who has run a negative campaign fueled largely by the wealth of his husband, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

“Voters want a representative in Washington who they can trust. Chris’s lifetime of honorable service to his country and constituents in New York is a record we can be proud of,” said Gubson’s campaign manager Kevin Crumb. “Unfortunately, Sean Eldridge has shown that he’ll do anything to be elected to Congress – including district-shopping and spending millions of his personal fortune to misrepresent Chris’s record.”

Gibson has used this line of attack many times – including in the NY-19 debate that TWC News hosted yesterday and aired last night. (In case you missed it, you can find it here).

UPDATE: Eldridge’s campaign released a point-by-point rebuttal of Gibson’s ad, which spokeswoman Sophie Friedman, said proves the congressman is willing to “lie to his friends and neighbors” and continues his practice of “false, personal attacks against Sean.”

Team Eldridge notes that Gibson is a member of the “least productive Congress in history,” and therefore cannot honestly claim to be working hard on behalf of his constituents. It also points out that the congressman supports fracking and has received a 33 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters.

What’s more, according to Eldridge’s campaign, Gibson has “refused to lead by example and speak out against the more than $5 million that has been spent by outside groups on his three bids for Congress.”

Here’s the script for Gibson’s new ad:

Female Narrator: “The story of Chris Gibson’s life of service starts here.

Male Narrator: But Sean Eldridge just moved here, filing to run for office before registering to vote.

Female Narrator: While Chris worked hard for us…

Male Narrator: Eldridge was deceiving you about Chris’ position on fracking, distorting Chris’s record of protecting our environment.

Female Narrator: Chris proposed to limit spending in this election.

Male Narrator: But billionaire Eldridge said no, supporting tax dollars paying for politicians’ negative ads.

Female Narrator: This election comes down to trust. The clear choice? Chris Gibson.

Chris Gibson: I’m Chris Gibson and I approve this message.

NY-19: Eldridge Poll Shows Him Gaining On Gibson

A poll released by Democratic congressional candidate Sean Eldridge’s campaign showed him trailing Republican incumbent Chris Gibson by 10 percentage points.

It shows Gibson has a 46 percent to 36 percent lead over Eldridge, with 18 percent of voters undecided.

Though he’s still down by double digits, the poll shows Eldridge has narrowed a gap between him and Gibson from last month, when a Siena College/TWC News poll showed him down by 24 percentage points.

The good news for Eldridge comes after his campaign has flooded the airwaves with TV ads.

Potentially as a result, Eldridge’s name recognition as improved: 82 percent of voters know who he is, compared to 39 percent in June.

The survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group, was done between Oct. 16 and Oct. 19.

It has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

“With two weeks left to go and 18% of voters still undecided, this race has become the competitive contest we always expected,” said Sophie Friedman, campaign spokeswoman. “Once voters learn about Congressman Gibson’s real record of siding with his corporate donors and about Sean’s work supporting small businesses and advocating for Planned Parenthood and environmental protection, they know that Sean is the independent advocate we need in Washington.”

Gibson and Eldridge will face off in a debate on Time Warner Cable News on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

NY-19-Poll-Memo-10.21.14 by Nick Reisman

Gibson Campaign Poll Shows Him Leading Eldridge

A poll conducted by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson’s campaign shows the incumbent leading his Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge by 26 percentage points.

The poll found Gibson leading Eldridge 56 percent to 30 percent in the Hudson Valley congressional district.

The survey, which was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, is largely in line with the public poll conducted by Time Warner Cable News and Siena College and released last month, which showed Gibson leading by 24 percentage points.

The poll found 62 percent of voters in the district have a favorable view of Gibson, compared to 19 percent that have an unfavorable impression him.

Gibson’s campaign says the poll is a reflection that the amount of money poured into the race by Eldridge’s campaign has had little impact.

“Simply put, this poll once again proves New Yorkers’ votes aren’t for sale. Despite being outspent by over two million dollars, Congressman Gibson’s lead remains steady and strong. No amount of money can fix the fact that Sean Eldridge is inexperienced and out of touch,” said Gibson campaign manager Kevin Crumb.

The poll of 400 voters was conducted from Oct. 14 through Oct. 15. It has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

NY 19 Oct 16 Key Findings Memo by Nick Reisman

Gibson’s Latest Validator: His Mom

Rep. Chris Gibson’s latest TV ad features a variety of people – including his own mother – praising him for “keeping his word” when it comes to protecting seniors and veterans.

The spot, which will air in all four media markets of NY-19 – Albany, Binghamton, New York City and Utica – mainly stars Chatham resident Anne Marie Mink. She tells the story of her father, local World War II veteran Tom Spierto, and her family’s quest to get him the medals he earned while serving in the military 60 years ago.

There’s also a photo of the congressman in fatigues, highliting his own 29-year military service. The ad closes with the Gibson’s mother, Barbara Gibson, who says her son “kept his word” to protect Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits. Barbara Gibson also appeared in a 2012 ad with much the same message – that Gibson would protect federal services for his elderly constituents.

Two years ago, Gibson defeated his Democratic challenger, former prosecutior and ex-Ulster County Democratic CHairman Julian Schreibman, winning about 53 percent of the vote in the redrawn NY-19, which had been altered in redistricting to include more Democrats and independent voters.

This year, Gibson is facing off against another Democratic newcomer, Sean Eldridge. A recent Siena poll showed Gibson leading by 24 percentage points.

Here’s the script for the new ad…no word on the size of the buy, or how long it will run:

“Anne Marie Mink: I have a 91-year old Dad, he’s a World War II veteran. Chris and his office worked really hard to get him his medals that he never had. When he sees my Dad – any of the veterans, World War II, Korea, Vietnam – he gives them the respect they deserve. And he gets the respect from all of us.

Announcer: In Congress, Chris Gibson always protects Social Security and Medicare for our seniors.

Barbara Gibson: He kept his word, like I knew he would.”

Eldridge Paints Gibson As Handmaiden of His Donors (Updated)

Democrat Sean Eldridge is continuing his negative assault on his GOP opponent, Rep. Chris Gibson, in the wake of a TWC News/Siena poll that found him trailing the incumbent congressman by 24 percentage points.

The first-time and largely self-funding candidate is poised to hit the airwaves with his fourth TV ad – a spot in which Eldridge tries to wrest the “independent” mantle from Gibson by accusing him of voting with the interests of his donors, not his constituents, in mind.

This comes on the heels of a radio ad that sought to link Gibson to the conservative Koch brothers, who have become the boogeymen of choice for Democrats this campaign cycle.

“Whether it’s his vote to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or his pledge to the Koch Brothers to take no meaningful action on climate change, Congressman Gibson has shown time and time again that he’s siding with his corporate donors instead of us,” Eldridge said in a statement.

“I’m not accepting a dime of corporate PAC money, so I’ll be accountable only to families in our region. I’ll stand up to the Big Banks and Big Oil and fight for badly-needed campaign finance reform in Washington.”

Eldridge’s campaign also noted that nearly $1 million worth of outside money has already been spent in support of Gibson in this race, including by the NRCC, which considers protecting the congressman a top priority, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Gibson has consistently sought to cast himself as a pragmatist who often votes independently from the House GOP leadership and works across the aisle with his Democratic colleagues.

Eldridge’s campaign has been the focus of negative press for several months now, as he has struggled to find his footing in the race for the 19th Congressional District. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as “Tilts Republican.” UPDATE: Actually, Rothenberg has more recently ranked this race “leans Republican,” as Gibson’s campaign points out

Also, Gibson’s campaign is calling Eldridge a hypocrite for dinging Gibson on fracking when his husband, Facebook cofounder and New Republic editor Chris Hughes, owns stakes worth as much as $1.35 million in oil companies that employ the practice. Also, on the limiting big money in politics front, the congressman’s campaign notes that he proposed a mutual finance cap for this race, but Eldridge rejected it as a “phony, election-year device” and not true campaign finance reform.

Here’s the script of Eldridge’s latest ad, which goes up on the air tomorrow:

“Eldridge: I’m Sean Eldridge, and I approve this message.

I won’t take a dime of corporate PAC money. I’ll be an independent voice in Washington and I won’t represent anybody but you.

Narrator: Chris Gibson? He’s been siding with his campaign donors, not us.

He’s taken thousands from Wall Street, then voted to weaken regulations on big banks.

Gibson’s taken money from gas drillers then supported fracking, which could pollute our drinking water.

Chris Gibson’s looking out for his campaign donors. Isn’t it time someone was looking out for us?

Eldridge To Air Radio Ad Tying Gibson To Koch Brothers

Democratic congressional hopeful Sean Eldridge’s campaign will start airing a radio ad this week that is aimed at knocking Republican Rep. Chris Gibson’s record.

Eldridge’s radio ad highlights the candidate’s own support for abortion rights, equal pay and overhauling campaign-finance regulations.

Gibson, meanwhile, is criticized for accepting donations from Wall Street and energy interests while supporting hydrofracking (and to be fair, Eldridge has tapped into a wealthy donor base himself).

The radio ad also ties Gibson to the Koch brothers — who have go-to boogeymen for Democratic campaigns this cycle.

“The special interests and big corporations are well represented in Washington,” the Eldridge radio ad states. “It’s time somebody stood up for us.”

While it’s the first radio-based ad of his campaign, Eldridge has been blanketing the TV airwaves with commercials. Gibson released his first ad of the campaign last week with a 30-second spot touting a very non-partisan effort on Lyme disease.

The minute-long spot comes after a Siena College/Time Warner Cable News poll showed Gibson leading Eldridge by 24 percentage points.

However, the same poll showed voters backing a number of the policy measures aligned with Eldridge’s campaign.

UPDATED: Trade Unions Back Gibson

Republican Congressman Chris Gibson has gained the endorsement of two statewide organization in as many days, and has at least one on the way. Yesterday, the State Association of Letter Carriers put their weight behind the incumbent Congressman, while today the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) announced their endorsement.

Both groups only amount to about 30 thousand members each (statewide nonetheless), but indicates a step in the right direction for Gibson’s campaign. He was also endorsed by NYSUT earlier this year, which has almost twenty times as many members as either union mentioned above.

MSSNY pointed out the Congressman’s actions to prevent cuts to Medicare and rising costs of medical liability insurance. In a statement released Thursday, they said:

“Through his votes and co-sponsorship of key bills, Representative Gibson has fought to preserve the ability of our seniors to have comprehensive choice of physicians to provide their care, fought to limit the ability of the federal government to make arbitrary cuts to the Medicare program that would harm our patients’ access to care, and supported efforts to preserve the viability of our health care delivery system by reducing the choking costs of medical liability insurance.  All of these actions are essential if we are to assure a highly functioning health care system now and in the future to meet the needs of our patients.”

Of course, it should be pointed out that those positions were part of the Paul Ryan Budget Plan which passed the House earlier this year but failed in the Senate.

As for the Postal Carriers, they released a statement Wednesday, saying in part:

“Congressman Gibson has shown a true understanding of our postal and labor issues, including the unfair mandate to prefund future retiree health benefits, and stands with us.  He also acknowledges that the elimination of 6 day mail delivery and door to door delivery would have a devastating effect on his constituency and the entire country,”

The Gibson campaign also announced Thursday that the Congressman will be gaining the endorsement of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades on Monday.

UPDATE: The Sean Eldridge campaign contacted State of Politics Thursday with a list of endorsements for the Democratic candidate. To date, Sean Eldridge has received the following endorsements: The Sierra Club, 1199 SEIU (May), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (October 2013), Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (April), UAW (May), and a flurry of local unions including CWA Local 1120 and 1103, IBEW Local 320 and 363, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 21, APWU Local 3722, NPMHU Local 300 and 309, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, IATSE Local 1, and UFCW Local 1500 and 1 (all September.)

Our TWC News/Siena Poll released earlier this month put Eldridge 24 points behind incumbent Chris Gibson at that time.