March 27th, 2009
01:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll shows Democrat has edge in NY 20

 The special election is set for next Tuesday.

The special election is set for next Tuesday.

(CNN) - Four days before a crucial special election for a House seat, a new poll suggests the Democrat in the race is gaining momentum.

A Siena College Research Institute poll of likely voters in New York's 20th congressional district indicates that Democrat Scott Murphy leads Republican Jim Tedisco by a 47 percent to 43 percent margin. That's a switch from two weeks ago, when Tedisco had a four point lead in a Siena poll and from one month ago, when Tedisco led by 12 points.

But the poll also indicates that by a ten point margin, 45 percent to 35 percent, voters think Tedisco will win.

"Taking the poll's sampling error into account, this race is neck-and-neck," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The tricky task for any pollster is trying to figure out who will actually vote in a special election for a local seat in an odd-numbered year. Likely voter models are generally based on historical voting patterns, but there is no history to fall back on in a race like this."

Murphy is a venture capitalist and Tedisco is a New York State lawmaker and ranking Republican in the State Assembly.

Both are running to replace Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who gave up her House seat after New York Gov. David Paterson appointed her to the U.S. Senate in January, to replace Hillary Clinton, who stepped down to serve as Secretary of State.

Gillibrand first won election to the seat in 2006 and was re-elected last November, in a moderate to conservative district that Republicans used to dominate.

The special election is scheduled for Tuesday.

Both the Democratic and Republican national party organizations and congressional campaign committees in the House of Representatives have pumped resources into the race.

The Democratic National Committee on Friday began running a television commercial in the district that uses visuals of Barack Obama and Murphy together on the screen and touts the president's support of the candidate. Earlier this week, the DNC went up with a radio spot in which Vice President Joe Biden voices his support for Murphy.

Republican have also flooded the airwaves in upstate New York with ads supporting Tedisco. President Obama's stimulus plan and even the controversy over AIG bonuses have become issues in the contest. Many political analysts see the race as an early referendum on how the Obama presidency has performed so far when it comes to the economy.

"Obama has endorsed the Democrat, so he can't run away from the results if the Republican wins," Holland says. "But local races often turn on local issues and the public perception of the two people on the ballot."

The Siena College Research Institute poll was conducted March 25-26, with 917 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (155 Responses)

    I'm a RINO who is voting dem all the way through 2010!!! Until we get some moderate and progressive GOPer's to vote for, I'm going for the blue team.... specifically b/c I want Obama's agenda to succeed.

    March 27, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. To RUSH and JINDAL: I do not want the levees in Louisiana or Florida to fail, just the policies of the Corp. of Engineers building them!!!

    Looks like the party that wants "Obama to fail", is going "continue to fail" in regaining Congressional seats back!

    Now that is change we can believe in!

    March 27, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Kurt C.

    I'm sure the Democrat definitely has the edge in dead people and people traveling from other states to vote.

    March 27, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Kimberly in Arizona

    Do you REALLY think a republican could win a seat in any state at this point? They are about as popular as the plague, and about as welcome as your mother in law. They are just the party of hate and fear and NO ideas. Its a lesson that they dont seem to be getting either, as they continue the exact same policy that got them booted in 06 and again in 08. They just dont care about America and it shows. They hate the President more than they love this country...sad!

    March 27, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. G. SMITH

    Anybody that votes Democratic needs to get an education in economics and political policies. The only good Democrat is an unemployed Democrat,

    March 27, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Irony that the dems are going with an entrepreuner. They will have no one to hate now.

    March 27, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. obama-mama

    After watching the GOP make a spectacle of themselves the only Republican I see fit to lead anything is Meghan McCain. The rest are just a bunch of no ideas clowns.

    March 27, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    A conjecture comment---Congratulations Democrat Scott Murphy on your victory.

    March 27, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Republiker

    If there is a recount then the Dems will surely "win".

    March 27, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. william from oregon

    The GOP is Lost. The Republican Road to Recovery, their answer to the budget is a JOKE, it says nothing but the usual GOP line. It does not have any numbers in it, seems like this would be important for a budget. Same old ideas wraped in a Blue package. The GOP think Americans are stupid and will keep buying the same Crap like the Contract with America.

    March 27, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Barbara

    I don't know either candidate but this morning was disgusted by a
    radio ad for Tedesco... I was impressed with its' sleazy, negative quality.
    If these were my candidates I would go with Murphy (?Democrat)
    based on this alone..The other guy should have learned people are tired of mud slingers

    March 27, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. tigerakabj

    Well, when you wish, hope, and pray for failure on other people....

    The GOP is done. They have no new ideas, do not want new ideas, only the failed trickle-down crap we saw for 20 out the last 28 years that got is into this mess. The prayed for rain on Obama at the DNC, and Hurricane Gustav wiped out their first day of the RNC and Hurricane Palin wiped out their chances for a victory.

    Go Murphy!

    March 27, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Fitz in Texas

    I'm not worried at all. I will continue doing what I'm doing to show friends, neighbors, and family what this government is doing to this country. What this government is doing to our children and their children. This is a train wreck and I will do everything in my power to prevent it and I won't stop until the day I die.

    AND PLEASE--stop saying we want the President to fail. I, along with millions of others want his policies to fail. Good Lord, it isn't that hard to understand.

    Read the Constitution and understand it. This is one of the greatest gifts our founding fathers gave us.
    "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
    -–Thomas Jefferson--

    March 27, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Jill

    NYC Repub- If you want Obama's agenda to succeed you should switch to democrat right now. Obama's plans are horrible and will bankrupt this country for years to come. The people of this country are too blinded by desperation and jealousy to see what actually is going on in this administration.

    March 27, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Shawn

    This is generally a Republican district, so it will be quite surprising if Murphy wins. That said, you'd have to be a flipping MORON to vote Republican these days. They have no ideas, no vision, no values and no alternatives - just more of the same proven-dead-wrong ideology that sunk America and broke the world.

    March 27, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Johnny from VA

    Are there any Republicans in NY? That is a really liberal state.

    March 27, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. mark

    This is NY where talking about. If the GOP is even close its really a bad sign for the democrats.

    March 27, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Freed_From_W

    Well, NYC was the place most affected by Republican plotting, after all...
    This only makes sense.

    Kurt C. @ 11:10:
    "I'm sure the Democrat definitely has the edge in dead people and people traveling from other states to vote."

    It doesn't matter who pushes the button on the screen as long as you have the company who makes and supports the voting machines in your pocket – isn't that right, Mr. GOP?

    March 27, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. John in Ohio

    "If there is a recount then the Dems will surely "win"."

    Just like in Florida!

    March 27, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. kygirl

    As long as the repbs keep using issues that they haven't changed when they were in power (such as abortion) for the last 20 of the 28 years (with Ronald Reagan, Bush 1 and Bush 2), they will continue to disappear in popularity. As a FORMER Repub who voted for George W twice, I am very diappointed in the party. They keep using abortion and other hot button issues to get votes, but do absolutely nothing about it b/c they don't want to pay (with their tax dollars) for unwanted babies. They're just full of rhetoric.

    March 27, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Dan, TX

    It's a republican district, the dems should not win. But I hope and pray the democrat wins. The republicans need to understand that centrist views are better.

    I hear a lot about Pro-life conservatives. Conservatives should be pro-choice. It is crazy for them to be pro-life. Being pro-life means that you support spending trillions to end starvation and disease in third world countries.

    March 27, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. John in Ohio

    I find it amusing that the Republicans have no actual policies or ideas to stand on, just vague and threatening intimations that Democrats only win when dead people vote, or when ACORN does a recount, or something equally nonsensical.

    It is utterly alien and unimaginable to them that their ideas might just be unpopular. Just because a majority of vocal people don't agree with you doesn't mean that a silent and oppressed majority of quiet people agree with you. It might just mean that the majority disagrees with you, and in a democracy, that means you lose votes.

    March 27, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. pat C.

    poor republicans .......a plan or budget without a dollar figure! i don't think they have anyone smart enough to figure it out. no one in their right mind right now republican or democrat would waste a vote for a republican in any office. the republicans are just not smart enough to handle our country under these economic conditions. all they know is tax cuts for the rich and now they want to make sure the rich can get a bigger deal on buying a new house. to bad the unemployed here in america won't be helped by either tax cut. if you are unemployed all the tax cuts in the world won't help.

    March 27, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. JB

    Republicans are holding this country back from progressing. Please vote Democrat!

    March 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. katiec

    The republicans are making our political system the laughing stock of the world.
    Their no number, ridiculous budget plan was the last straw. How any intelligent person could vote for them is beyond me.
    At a time when decisions, plans and support is needed for the
    survial of our country they continue to play their unAmerican games.

    March 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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