The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released findings from a new survey showing North Country Representative Bill Owens with a wide lead over Republican challenger Matt Doheny.
Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, gathered 50% of support, according to the poll. That’s an important benchmark for an incumbent seeking re-election.
Doheny, the Republican from Watertown, was at 38%, according to the survey of 400 likely voters, which was conducted in the final three days of July.
“Roughly three months before Election Day, Congressman Bill Owens is well positioned to win re-election in New York’s newly-configured 21st Congressional District,” according to a statement by Anzalone Liszt Research, which conducted the poll.
They note that Owens currently leads by a margin that is wider than the percentage of undecided voters, which stands currently at 8%. (The margin of error for this poll is plus or minus 4.9%.)
Meanwhile, Green Party candidate Donald Hassig also drew some support, winning 4% of voter interest. If the race narrows in the weeks ahead, that number could be significant.
Reacting to the survey, Doheny spokesman Jude Seymour sent this statement this morning to NCPR:
“The fact that Bill Owens can’t break 50 percent as an incumbent in a poll commissioned by his own party is indicative of how much trouble he’s in this fall. When people find out that Owens is part of job-killing agenda of this administration, that number is going to be much lower than 50 percent.”
Seymour says he doesn’t know of any GOP-sponsored polling that will be released “publicly” any time soon.
A 12% gap is certainly a much bigger hill to climb than I would have anticipated at this stage in the race, in a district with such a heavy Republican tilt in voter registration, and given Doheny’s ambitious, active and well-funded campaign.
I wonder if Doheny isn’t getting caught in some of the New York headwinds that face all GOP contenders: the relatively high popularity of Barack Obama, and the soaring popularity of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
As always, your comments and thoughts welcome.