----------PAST KEY RACES----------
|Poll||Date||Sample||Doheny (R)||Owens (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||46.4||47.5||Owens +1.1|
|Siena*||10/23 - 10/26||623 LV||37||40||Owens +3|
|Siena*||10/5 - 10/7||607 LV||31||42||Owens +11|
|AAF/Ayers (R)||7/28 - 8/1||400 LV||39||41||Owens +2|
|2008: McHugh (R) 65%, Oot (D) 35%
||2008: Obama (D) 52%, McCain (R) 47%
|2006: McHugh (R) 63%, Johnson (D) 37%||2004: Bush (R) 51%, Kerry (D) 47%
|2004: McHugh (R) 71%, Johnson (D) 29%||2000: Bush (R) 49%, Gore (D) 47%
10/28/10 -- Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman -- who forced moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava out of the race last November and nearly defeated Owens -- lost the Republican primary in September. This time he opted not to run a third party challenge, although his name remains on the ballot. He endorsed Doheny, who now polls competitively against the Congressman. This seat seems primed to flip back to the Republicans.
The 23rd Congressional District is the North Country district. It is one of the largest districts east of the Mississippi, beginning in Plattsburg in the far northeast of the state, and swinging down to the Syracuse exurbs. It is overwhelmingly rural – two-thirds of the district is non-urban – and is historically Republican.
In fact, parts of the district hadn’t been represented by a Democrat in over 150 years, until Barack Obama cannily tapped Congressman John McHugh for Secretary of the Army. The race for the seat was initially a matchup between moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens, with Scozzafava the favorite. But Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman refused to yield to Scozzafava, and overtook her in the polls. Scozzafava famously dropped out the weekend before the election, and endorsed Owens, who went on to win.
Owens is now an incumbent with a voting record, which would normally hurt him in a year like this. But he still faces a divided field. This time, the Republicans had a primary (in 2009 Scozzafava was appointed the nominee), and Hoffman lost. But once again, he has the Conservative Party’s nod and refuses to back down. Investment banker Matt Doheny will carry the Republican Party banner once again, but the question is whether Hoffman can catch on once again without the ability to run against the party apparatus.