Siena Says Gillibrand in the Lead 46 to 43
Siena New York Congressional Poll: Gillibrand Leads Sweeney by Three Points, Erasing 14 Point Deficit in Just Over Two Weeks
Voters Now Give Gillibrand Big Edge on Four of Seven Issues
Sweeney Favorability Falls; More Voters Now View Him Unfavorably
Loudonville, NY - In a dramatic turnaround, Democratic challenger Kirsten Gillibrand has erased a 14 point deficit and taken a three point lead over Representative John Sweeney (R-Clifton Park) in the race for Congress in the 20th Congressional District, according to a Siena (College) Research Institute poll released today. Gillibrand now leads Sweeney 46-43 percent, compared to the October 19th Siena Poll showing Sweeney with a 53-39 percent lead. When asked to choose which candidate would do a better job on seven issues, voters give Gillibrand a big edge on four (education, health care, environment and Iraq); Sweeney leads big on two issues (crime and homeland security); one issue (taxes) was a virtual tie.
"Kirsten Gillibrand has erased John Sweeney's lead completely and taken a small lead heading into Election Day," said Steven Greenberg, spokesman for the Siena College poll. "Gillibrand is holding more than three-quarters of Democrats, grabbing the support of nearly one-quarter of Republicans and garnering the votes of almost half of independent voters, among whom she leads Sweeney by 13 points. On the other hand, Sweeney is only holding two-thirds of Republicans and picking up the support of only one in seven Democrats.
"Gillibrand has a solid nine-point lead in the southern part of the district, is running neck-and-neck with Sweeney in the North Country portion of the district and trails Sweeney by only three points in the Capital Region part of the district," Greenberg said. "There is no gender gap in this district. Gillibrand leads by three points among men and two points among women.
"The turnaround in this race is even more dramatic given the huge enrollment edge for Republicans in this district," Greenberg said.
I wonder what Alan Chartock is going to have to say on the race now. As recently as October 30th, he was still defending the Sweeney agenda. Metroland reported early this month:
WAMC president and Legislative Gazette publisher Alan Chartock, a frequent critic of the Bush administration, has surprised many local observers with his apparent enthusiasm for Sweeney and his belief that Gillibrand has no chance. In the Sept. 11 Legislative Gazette, Chartock called Sweeney “one of the brightest lights in the Republican delegation.” Chartock proposed in the article that Democrats might consider voting for Sweeney so he can serve as an independent watchdog to keep the Bush administration in line. [Chartock said,] “there is something to be said for picking Republicans like Sweeney who is comfortably ahead of his opponent and supporting them to show the political world that Republicans who demonstrate independence will be rewarded for that spirit.” (link)
HAHAHAH! That was sooooooo wrong. Sweeney's voted with Bush 89% of the time. And with DeLay 92% of the time. That's not independence. People here know that. When I agree with someone 89% of the time, we're very close, we've got a lot in common and we're practically best friends forever.
Will AC finally abandon the GOP talking points regarding his "Good Friend" John Sweeney? As a private citizen and listener to WASMC, I've been asking AC to wake up since I first heard him talk about this race. I live here, I met Kirsten over 2 years ago, I knew people here were going to be open to her ideas for change and that Sweeney is not who we, the people in the 20th district, want representing us in congress.
Related: Read more about the poll and get the cross tabs from the TUblog.