| Siena College (3-9/10, likely voters, 2/18-19 in parentheses):
Scott Murphy (D): 41 (34)
Jim Tedisco (R): 45 (46)
Eric Sundwall (L): 1 (n/a)
Yesterday you may remember that the Scott Murphy camp came out with an internal poll showing a 7-point lead for Jim Tedisco, but I questioned whether the race was actually closer than that, given that the internal poll was more than two weeks old and the intervening weeks involved a lot of hammering on Tedisco for his inability to commit one way or the other to the stimulus package. I may have been on to something: Siena comes out with another poll (so finally we have some trendlines) of NY-20, and Murphy has shaved his previous 12-point deficit to 4.
As you can see from the trendlines, Tedisco is holding steady while Murphy is vacuuming up the undecideds. Tedisco also doesn't seem to be impressing anyone new: his favorable/unfavorable is 49/30, which looks good on the surface, but two weeks ago he was at 47/20. (Murphy's favorable/unfavorable is 40/25, up from 29/10, so his ad blitz is at least erasing his #1 problem, lack of name recognition.) The trajectory of the trendlines points to a very close race, and this being a special election, it's likely to boil down to turnout, enthusiasm, and ground game.
This poll also breaks down the race by region within the district. Tedisco has a big edge in suburban Saratoga County, where he's ostensibly from (he represents Schenectady in the state assembly, which is outside the district), while Murphy has a big edge in the district's blue-collar northern counties (Murphy is from Glens Falls). The two are close in the Hudson Valley counties south of Albany, which looks to be the swing area where the real battle will be fought.
As I'm sure you've read elsewhere, this race is also turning into a bit of a behind-the-scenes referendum on RNC chairman Michael Steele. While I'm starting to look forward to winning this race, one unfortunate consequence of winning may be the end of the Steele chairmanship... which, at least in terms of driving the media narrative, has so far proven to be a much bigger gift to Democrats than one more seat in the House.
UPDATE: The RNC can read polls, too. They just transferred $100,000 to the New York GOP to buttress Tedisco's campaign.