March 27th, 2009
01:40 PM ET
5 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. paul oregon

    the grand old party of NO , maybe russ an steele de man will parade jindal and palin as the only answer to the repub. party . they could use the new GOProad to recovery budget.
    not all repub. are that stupid ???? or are they ????????? the party of NO.

    March 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. CNN Ed Henry Bu$t Was Handed To Him In A Platter of Doodoo

    It's about time all Americans in every nook and crannies in this United States vote "NO" to the (G)ot 0 (p)lan!

    March 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. yuri

    We believe – for obvious reasons. The caveat is that the Dems shouldn't squander away this opportunity. A calculated campaignin' can cause much less cacophony than otherwise.

    March 27, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. mark

    Republicans have been running this country in the ground every since Regan. Every republican out there is on Regan's Nuts! Go Figure!

    March 27, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Jazzy!

    @Kent in CA March 27th, 2009 11:43 am ET
    I agree with #7 obama-mama. The GOP should dump Steele and elect Meghan McCain RNC Chairwoman. Looks like she's got the cajones to stand up to the radical right that is killing their party.
    **I also agree..........I am a 1 stop shop Dem ....but I would vote for Megan*** She knows when to say yes and when to say no and she not afraid stand up for what she think is right !!!

    March 27, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. grumpy

    Remember these poll numbers and after the election ask how they could be so skewed ! Media politicking naives ! You are being manipulated!

    March 27, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Mike in VA

    A Venture Capitalist Democrat even! Show smore what ppl in NY think of Capitalists vs Politicians

    March 27, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Johnny Badger

    Yeah, and the media, the political wonks, etc. wrote off the Democratic Party in the 1980's. This, just like the hysteria about global warming, is a bunch of hot air betting expended over what is nothing more than the natural ebb and flow of nature – physical and social. Once everyone gets tired of the government crawling around their underwear, the pendulum will swing back.

    March 27, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Phoenix

    When the Republicans begin to place the needs of the people over the needs of their personal portfolios, then i truly believe "the people" will vote for them again. Until then, greed is a very unfavorble postion for you Republicans to be in.

    Conservatives owned the Wall Street, White House, Congress, the Pentagon and the DOJ, so why did things get so screwed up under their watch?

    Sorry, the folks that got screwed for 7 years of your mess making have spoken and for the time being, sit back and watch someone else clean up your bad decision making, inclusive of putting the wrong people in power.

    March 27, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Fred

    It's hardly surprising that the Dems are leading in this race. New York is a blue state afterall, with it's bluest hue being in NYC.

    March 27, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. arithmetic is liberal

    Paula March 27th, 2009 12:51 pm ET

    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…

    Paula, it's people like you who make me think that the right wing is far more dangerous when they are out of power than when they are in power.

    Also, please tell me at what point in the Republican majority years did Bush overturn Roe v. Wade? ...That's what I thought.

    March 27, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Some guy

    I seriously doubt many of you have ever visited NY state. There is a HUGE chunk of that state that is not in or near NYC. New York is extremely diverse with republican and democrat areas (and more rednecks than you can shake a stick at). Try telling someone from Buffalo that they are a liberal commie. You will get your face punched in.

    March 27, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Lexi

    Any poll that CNN reports is going to be good for dems bad for reps
    What happened CNN? You used to be a real news station.

    March 27, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Catherine

    You know, Obama's election had me feeling much better about the intelligence level and common sense of the American people.

    Then I read these comments.

    March 27, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. mikey65

    Sort of a misleading headline if the race is really neck-and-neck per the pollster. Where is the "journalism"?

    March 27, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. kishen c.rao

    They do not talk any kind of sense at all for me...so they fail...ex., john baener, jedd gregg, Bobby zindal...all these idiotic idealogy group...Mitt rumney is the leader of this group.........so they fail...nothing wrong...pres. obama is clever, educated, has proper thinking...works for the nation....he is going to be like "Matma Gandhi". period...

    March 27, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Sam Sixpack

    China love us!

    March 27, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Irene

    Anybody who votes GOP needs to get an education. Government cannot participate in morality and be used as a pawn for big business. The GOP is the fascist party and the fact that the wealth was redistributed to the very wealthy during the past 8 years bears proof. The GOP needs to stop telling us how to run our own lives and which religion to believe. They have no right to legislate marriage laws and deny the right of marriage to same-sex couples. There used to be a saying that if you were not a Dem by age 20 you had no heart. If you were not a GOP by age 30 you have no head. Now the sayong should say, if you are not a Dem by age 30 you have no scruples.

    March 27, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. arithmetic is liberal

    What's that I hear?
    The Righties are crying about the "liberal media"?
    Say it ain't so!

    March 27, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. David Evan

    I think even if this experienced Republican candidate wins by a narrow margin it still shows the a net loss for Republicans in such a historically conservative district.

    March 27, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. hn

    The country is generally republican. It only turns to democrats when their vallet is hurt by the republican strategy of pepping up the rich boys boil over like it did now. When democrats fix the economy the country will go back to electing republicans.

    March 27, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Diffelfanger

    FGD Yes, we can blame one party for the economies mess. When that parties policies made this situation inevitable. Deregulation is the root cause period. Human nature is to get what you can, left unchecked greed soon runs wild.

    March 27, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Scott the Independent

    @hn – actually the country is neither republican or democratic. It is in the middle. Over the years the republicans have made an art of misrepresentation and deception. The democrats didn't do so well in those area's. With the internet and availability of facts there is only one way to win in the future. Competence.

    March 27, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Adam

    Seriously, this country is so much better without GOP, to them, it was okay for Bush to spend like crazy rebuilding IRAQ and spening so much money on the wars, but it is not okay to spend any money at home in order to invest in the country's infrastructure, lets get them all out of there.

    March 27, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. TCM

    yawn...another biased CNN poll, taken at a college no less. Why would anyone want to vote democrat after electing Obama is beyond me.....10x the spending of Bush in 2 months, a history laden with corruption...his adminstration are tax cheats...he thinks there's 57 states....haha...and comedians say they can't find any material...wait, I guess they're liberals too...

    March 27, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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