----------PAST KEY RACES----------
2010: Governor | Senate | Senate (Special) | NY-1 | NY-2 | NY-4 | NY-13 | NY-19 | NY-20 | NY-22 | NY-23 | NY-24 | NY-25 | NY-27 | NY-29
2008: Pres | NY-13 | NY-25 | NY-26 | NY-29
2006: Governor | NY-19 | NY-20 | NY-24 | NY-25 | NY-26 | NY-29
|Poll||Date||Sample||Doheny (R)||Owens (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||48.2||50.1||Owens +1.9|
|Siena||10/29 - 10/30||629 LV||43||44||Owens +1|
|Siena||9/4 - 9/6||638 LV||36||49||Owens +13|
The 21st 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 to be secretary of the Army. The race for the open 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 managed to win again by a point in 2010, thanks in large part to Hoffman once again splitting the Republican vote. Redistricting didn't do Owens any favors -- the district is a point more Republican now. But he is an established incumbent, and the overall political climate is much better for him. He's been polling well and is generally seen as the favorite.