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)
  1. Unemployed

    Of course Murphy will be elected. Murphy is as outsider with business experience who knows what the private sector needs to create jobs. The Repug is a career politician with no solutions. If you liked Bush you will love the Repug candidate. The election is about real solutions versus obstructionism.

    March 27, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Don in Albuquerque

    After recent performance, and the JOKE of a budget the Repugs turned in............Are you suprised?

    March 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Zion


    C'mon, it's New York, have they EVER had a Republican? Seriously, it doesn't matter. I wish you people would see it. It's all a shell game to make you think there are two distinct parties.

    I mean, hello. Obama says "We've got to reinvade Afghanistan again to keep Americans safe." Sounds like Bush right???
    No, Bush placed all his chips in Iraq, thus costing him his political career. Remember, the world supported us invading Afghanistan, our image went to heck when he made a left turn and went to Iraq for a random mission that no one has figured out yet. The media failed to report on the shortage of troops and supplies and the continual failures in Afghanistan during his presidency. This lack of reporting was no coincidence.

    March 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. suzyku

    I sincerely hope the Democrat wins! The fewer republicans we have the better off this country is!

    March 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. WBN

    Yep, it's really getting difficult for Repubs–ever since the liberal media (national and local!) joined the Dems party during the Bush administration. Hmmm, Obama still didn't win by very much, in a year he should have won by a landslide. Oh, well, the media is still working hard for their party!

    March 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Barry

    Furthermore, Bush left office with a deficit of $586 Billion...Obama has already doubled that yet the uneducated still call this Bushes doing. I guess when Obama adds another $3.6 Trillion with his budget, it will still be blamed on the Republicans. Obama is wanting to spend more money in his budget then all of the previous Presidents we have had have spent together. Big Brother making decisions for us is not the answer, making decisions for ourselves is. We will have to completely start over with our country once these tax, expand, and spend Democrats are out of office over the next 4 years.

    March 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Its About Time...

    G Got
    0 Zero
    P Plans

    You guys waste a lot of time spouting hate. There is a reason why your party was torpedoed in the last two elections, and you haven't figured it out yet.

    If you don't "get it" by November, 2010...consider yourself a lunatic fringe party.

    March 27, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. sally, san diego, ca

    Voters are saying "No" to the Party of No.

    March 27, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Duh

    There is no reason for any sane American to support a republicon at this particular juncture. the republicons ruined the nation, lied to start wars, covered up for a war criminal, and have lied about the environment, the economy, and anything else that comes up. Voting Democrat right now just aids the recovery of the country.

    March 27, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Simpliticus

    What happened during and after the Great Depression! That's right! The Republicans were a basically "lost boy" troupe of discontents making fury but little noise as these were pummeled over their involvement in getting the nation to this state of bad economics. Again, that same nation treads upon the very path laid bare by these same Republicans and these obviously cannot shake the same pariah those Republicans bore. No surprise here!

    March 27, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Ken Sawyer

    The buck stops at Obama's door. Cheney and Bush are gone. Now we will see how the chicago machine runs things.

    March 27, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. David in SD

    With the Republican'ts virtually banned from representing New England at the Federal level, New York is the "New Frontier." Pick'em off one at a time.

    March 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Paula

    Let's keep voting the Demon-crats into power.

    Woohoo! 25% of New Yorkers have Herpies; Put the Sodomites in Charge; Destroy the Economy; Blame Bush - when the Demon-crats were in control of the House and Senate; Let's add to the 4,000 abortions a day - and what do you have? Hell on earth...

    We need another revolution...

    March 27, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. OH

    You Republicans stay out of New York, we don't want you here and we'll stop sending money to your poor failed States. You all need to suffer much more.

    March 27, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. carolflowery

    i guess that is what ACORN did with some of it's bailout money

    March 27, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Amused

    If the Republican wins in a heavily red area, that won't say much, he is expected to win. But, if the Dem pulls of an upset and wins then I would count that as a big plus for Obama and another nail in the GOP's coffin.

    March 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Gayle

    I'm amazed at the extreme closed mindedness of many so called liberal individuals. Comments like "I will never vote for another republican" kind of paint yourself into a corner. Vote for the best person. Vote for the person who will do those things which you believe will be best for your country.
    If you really think that the government taking over every aspect of life is the answer to all of our problems, then Obama's approach should please you to no end. I think that many people choose to ignore the invasiveness and price tag that his policies will introduce. All they see is the pretty utopian pictures of: no more paying for medical care, all the people in other countries will like us now, or we're going to generate power from green sources so we won't be dependent on middle east oil. Nobody asks, "what does Obama know about energy generation, or health care?"
    I haven't noticed an outpouring of love from the world population as a result of Obama's election. Al Queda hasn't suddenly decided that we are no longer the great satan.

    March 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Sherry in SC

    If – and I mean a mighty big IF – whoever does these polls would actually poll someone other than democrats they might bet a better look at what the Americans really feel. This is one who was a democrat until this year and will never, never, never be a democrat again. It is totally shameful what the democracts have done – I will never drink the kool-aid/aka – fool-aid.

    Totally GOP from her on out.

    March 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. FGD

    You can't blame the economy problems on any one party they have been building for decades. obama and the dem's don't have a clue on how to fix the problem, you can't spend your way out of debt. can't say that I see the repubs fixing the probelm either.

    I think we need to get rid of all of them and get some new blood in there that care about the country and the people FIRST.

    We need to get out of debt as a country and the people of this country need to get out of personal debt also.

    March 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. scott in nj

    Barry @12:35:

    I guess you DON'T know what communism is. And, I guess you haven't been paying attention for the last 8 years as the Republicans attempted to move us to a one party system, grab more power than is constitutionally allowed, and expand government. Learn some history, including recent history. The economy always does better under Democratic control, and deficits are always higher under Republican control.

    March 27, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. The Flaccid Rushpublicans Can't Get A Boehner & Keep It Up

    And the reason is ...

    Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele, John Boehner, Mike Pence, Eric Cantor, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Lamar Alexander, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly Monica Crowley, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Michael Savitch, G. Gordon Liddy and that paltry nineteen page excuse for a budget.

    March 27, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Jim in Fllorida

    A Siena College Poll

    Uh, right, that poll doesn't have aleft of center agenda does it?

    March 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. DavidinCA

    What the heck is a Venture Capitalist doing in the Democratic Party?!? These guys start businesses. Isn't that evil and contrary to what Democrats are all about? I'm confused now.

    March 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    CNN how do you get one of these professional blogger jobs? The list here is better than prime time TV with the spin jockies for both parties. How much does the two major parties pay these foljks to sit all day and all night blogging out against each other?

    March 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Damien

    I need to stop reading the comments on all of these is making me lose faith in democracy and American intelligence.

    March 27, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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