Both Republican James Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy are declaring victory of sorts after the results of a poll were released Thursday.
A Siena Research Institute poll shows that Tedisco, the Assembly minority leader from Glenville, would capture 46 percent of the vote if the election were held today, while Murphy, a Glens Falls businessman, would garner 34 percent.
Tedisco’s campaign trumpeted the results Thursday, noting the double-digit lead their candidate holds not only among GOP voters but also among independents, 45 percent of whom indicated their support for Tedisco compared to 31 percent for Murphy.
Tedisco also boasted a 20-point lead among all voters in Saratoga and Rensselaer counties.
“That’s the biggest part of the district,” said Tedisco spokesman Adam Kramer. “A 14-point lead among independents is also a very impressive statistic.”
The poll surveyed 790 likely voters from Feb. 18-20 and has a margin of error of about 4 points.
Murphy’s camp pointed out that their candidate has gained significantly on Tedisco since a Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted Feb. 3 and 4 showed Tedisco and Murphy at 50 to 29 percent, respectively.
“Local businessman Scott Murphy has traveled all across the district, and his record of helping to create over 1,000 jobs and strong support for Senator [Kirsten] Gillibrand and President [Barack] Obama’s economic policies has really struck a chord,” said Ryan Rudominer, spokesman for the Murphy campaign.
And Murphy is 12 percentage points behind Tedisco in a district that has a 15-point GOP edge; 44 percent of voters in the district are enrolled as Republicans, 29 percent are enrolled Democrats and 27 percent are not enrolled in either party.
Siena New York Poll spokesman Steven Greenberg acknowledged Murphy’s jump.
“He’s already gotten a significant bounce for somebody who’s never been an elected official.”
But with a little less than five weeks left until election day on March 31, neither side can get comfortable yet. “We’re in the early stages of the campaign,” Greenberg said.
“I’ve seen many campaigns where 12-point deficits have been made up. This is certainly not a done deal.”
In the next four and a half weeks, both camps will aim to identify their supporters and make sure they get to the polls for the special election, where voter turnout is likely to be low, Greenberg said.
Kramer admitted the work is far from done for the Tedisco campaign.
“The Siena poll shows what we’ve been saying all along. This is going to be a competitive race up until the end.”
The poll surveyed likely voters in the 20th Congressional District, which covers all or part of 10 counties and stretches as far north as Lake Placid and as far south as Poughkeepsie. The district includes Dutchess, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren and Washington and Essex counties.
The poll did not include Libertarian Eric Sundwall of Niverville, who will be a third-party candidate if he turns in 3,500 signatures by the end of next week to get on the ballot.