A poll conducted this week shows former Bush White House adviser Elise Stefanik leading two-time congressional candidate Matt Doheny in the race for the GOP nomination for the 21st Congressional District.
Stefanik, the party-backed candidate, and Doheny will face off Tuesday for the Republican nomination in the sprawling 21st Congressional District, which touches 12 North Country counties, including Saratoga and Fulton, over roughly 16,000 square miles.
Doheny leads 45-37 overall, and 51-38 among voters who identify as tea party voters and encompass 51 percent of the respondents, according to the GOP firm Harris Polling. The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday.
In addition, the poll’s findings state negative advertising by outside groups against Doheny have affected his favorable rating, as he has a 39-41 favorable/unfavorable rating. Stefanik has a 49-29 favorable/unfavorable rating.
“Of the 85 percent who are receiving information about Doheny, 45 percent say it is giving them a more unfavorable opinion of him; 35 percent say favorable,” Harris Polling President Brock McCleary said in a synopsis.
Stefanik, a former adviser to the White House during the President George H.W. Bush Administration and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has the party backing and high-profile endorsements from former presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and his 2012 running mate, Ryan.
Doheny, an investment fund manager from Watertown, ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in 2010 and again in 2012. Doheny has the endorsements of a pair of GOP state senators, Joe Griffo of Rome and Pattie Ritchie of Oswegatchie.
Owens, who took office in 2009, is not seeking re-election.
Aaron Woolf, a filmmaker from Elizabethtown, is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines — he has been endorsed by Owens — while the Green Party is fielding Matt Funiciello, a bread company owner from Glens Falls.
Stefanik, Woolf and to a lesser extent Doheny have had their North County bona fides called into question.
Stefanik lists her address as Willlsboro, although she has worked in Albany County. Woolf claims Elizabethtown, although he only recently changed his voter registration from Brooklyn. For a time Doheny worked in New York City.
The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 4.