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NY-20: Murphy Pulls Within 4 In Public Poll

by: Crisitunity

Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 12:34 PM EDT

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)
(MoE: ±3.7%)

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.

Crisitunity :: NY-20: Murphy Pulls Within 4 In Public Poll
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I think this may be close enough
to warrant a Presidential visit in the last few days. Though I think he probably won't want to.

This race strikes me as being a bit like Guthrie v. Boswell in reverse.  

County distinctions
In 2006, Gillibrand won all but two counties in the district, Greene and Delaware.

The two largest counties are Dutchess in the South and Saratoga. Too offset Saratoga, Murphy will have to win Dutchess big and get high turnout down there, as well as up north in Warren and Essex.

Murphy's plan should be to make it close in Saratoga and Rennsselear on turnout and win the rest of the district big...especially Dutchess County.

What's turnout gonna look like, I know some people have sought to boycott this race because of Murphy saying he'd join the Blue Dogs.  

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens

turnout will be miniscule
as usual with special house seats.  is it our base or theirs that shows up?

obama and gillibrand are still popular there and tedisco is not fighting the stimulus - which is something that might fire up GOP voters.  i hope the unions are helping with the grassroots stuff.

[ Parent ]
I wonder if Tedisco not fighting the stimulus has anything to do with trying to get as many corporate contributions as possible. As corporations are pretty big on the stimulus.

[ Parent ]
the next best thing?
How popular is are the Clintons up there?  Maybe Bill should make an appearance or help fundraise.  Lately he seems to have become, weirdly, the best proxy for his wife (who is otherwise engaged and can't campaign).

Hillary can't and Obama won't
Bill most definitely should get his ass up there. Gillibrand is apparently pulling out all the stops. Shame Paterson wouldn't help. Not sure who else there is. Maybe Biden if he can hold his tongue.

[ Parent ]
Paterson help?
The only way he would help Murphy is by staying as far from this race as popular.  

[ Parent ]
As possible I should say
His approval is probably in the 20's in that district.

[ Parent ]
they polled Paterson's favorable/unfavorable (along with Gillibrand, Schumber, Obama, etc.) in this survey, and he's about 40/40 in the district, surprisingly, so he's not quite radioactive here. The best-loved person in the district is Gillibrand, at something like 78% favorable. If anyone needs to get up there and hit the stump, it's her.

[ Parent ]
She is and has
And be all accounts will again.

[ Parent ]
by all accounts
Argh. Must.spell.check.

[ Parent ]
Wow 40/40
Maybe tapping her for the Senate really did do wonders for him up there. Id love to see a comparison in Arcuri and McHugh's district. Though all the directions in upstate are different from each other, really.

[ Parent ]
What I meant
Wouldn't as in a visit would hurt not that he refused to visit.

[ Parent ]
Probably agree
Appointing 'one of their own' really only takes you so far. Itll score you some points but at the end of the day it doesnt matter all that much.

[ Parent ]
Hillary is like 70% approval upstate
As of about a month ago.  Though as others have said, Secretaries of State have a tradition of not doing campaign appearances for candidates, so there's almost n o chance she would for Murphy.

[ Parent ]
There is hope
When is this election again? its the end of this month or so isn't it? Feels like if we had just a little bit more time, it would be a shoe in. As it stands now, I'd say we're about 60/40 towards losing the seat, maybe a little better than that. But, there is hope. :)

Two weeks on Tuesday
I'd say Murphy is peaking at exactly the right time.

[ Parent ]
March 31
Yeah, another two weeks beyond that would be great.

[ Parent ]
Have there been any yet?  Considering how wishy-washy Tedisco has been and debates should help Murphy.

They have no shame
"Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee's independent expenditure unit began airing a TV ad on Thursday, taking Murphy to task for creating an Internet company in India. The ad is accompanied by sitar music and images of the Taj Mahal."

Doubt it works
Voters seem to have turned sour on that sort of gutter politics over the last few years.  If anything it may backfire.

[ Parent ]
I agree that would backfire
It also gives Murphy an opportunity to show what he created in America.

26, male, Dem, NJ-12

[ Parent ]
Oh good lord
Why would anyone care if someone just merely creates a company in another country? I cant believe they ran an ad like that. The GOP contradicts themselves so much. They have no problem with giving international aid to other countries (and i dont have a prob, either) yet dont want our companies to invest there? Well, unless its a big corporation.

[ Parent ]
Murphy needs to prove he has political skills
I think that's the only thing holding him back. "I have the same values and priorities as you" isn't good enough. He needs to convince voters that he knows how to turn those values and priorities into good policy

26, male, Dem, NJ-12

Response to the $100,000
"I think it's great that some people are still able to throw that kind of money around during hard times."

26, male, Dem, NJ-12

Eric Sundwall
Eric Sundwall's poll numbers will rise in relation to the rise in media coverage he will receive now that he's on the ballot.

Is that a good thing?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Far more libertarian votes come from republicans than democrats.  Though libertarians usualy don't do too well in special elections because they are more partisan than general elections.

[ Parent ]
Vote for Tedisco
Vote for Jim Tedisco. Vote for honesty, integrity, hard work. Get involved -
Or donate $20 for NY20 -

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