Hmm. A month ago, in polling on that upcoming special election race to replace Kirsten Gillibrand in the House, Republican Jim Tedisco led Democrat Scott Murphy by 21 points — or so said Tedisco’s campaign, who released the poll. A few weeks ago, a Siena poll found the gap to be 12 points. Now a new Siena poll puts it at four points, close to the margin of error.
National Republicans and conservatives have been pushing hard for a pickup in the 20th Congressional District, as it would both invigorate their troops and cut the Democats’ margin in the House. “I really thought something smelled funny,” a close observer of the race tells us, “when they started talking about NJ-Gov as the next hot race for the GOP and the AP all of a sudden discovered that Tedisco’s residency was a big story.” Our radar tingled slightly when Tedisco started complaining about Murphy’s ads.
Why the surge? The two men have debated; maybe the citizens didn’t like Tedisco’s answers. Maybe Gillibrand’s endorsement has softened some voters to Murphy, though we haven’t seen her talking about it much. Or it may just be that the March 31 election is getting close and they’re reassessing the impact of returning a seat to the GOP.