Last week a Research 2000 poll showed Democrat Bill Owens leading in that contentious NY-23 Congressional race, holding 35 points with Republican Dede Scozzafava at 30 and insurgent Conservative Party candidate Bill Hoffman, backed by Sarah Palin and other prominent rightwingers, at 23 percent. Today the Club for Growth, a conservative group that’s strongly backing Hoffman, announces that its poll shows Hoffman in the lead with 31.3 percent, Owens with 27 percent and Scozzafava with 19.7 percent…
This is a rather large difference for one week. It may have to do with sample size (300 voters vs. Research 2000’s 600), or makeup: while Election 2000 calls their sample of “likely voters,” Club for Growth’s calls theirs “very likely.” While the former poll’s respondents were 42 percent Republican, the latter’s are 48.3 GOP. (In April the Board of Elections had 43.1 percent of the district registered Republican. Both polls, though, have higher Democratic representation than the BOE records: 32 and 36, respectively, versus 31 on the rolls ) Or it may be that Palin has more pull in NY-23 than previously suspected.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is clearly focusing on Hoffman, with a recent ad attacking Owens’ “millionaire” Conservative rival rather than Scozzafava. The American Spectator is excited by the poll, predicting that if it’s accurate, “Newt Gingrich, Pete Sessions, John Boehner, and all the party hacks” who supported Scozzafava “will be eating so much rancid crow that they are bound to cough and choke and splutter.” The election is a week from Tuesday.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2009