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« Countdown '09: New Jersey and Virginia (19 Days) | Blog Home Page | Sheila Johnson Cuts Ad For McDonnell »

NY-23 Poll: Owens (D) Takes Lead

With assistance from Conservative Party nomninee David Hoffman, Democrat Bill Owens has erased a 7-point deficit from two weeks ago and taken a 4-point lead with 19 days to go in the special election race for the vacant 23rd District of New York, according to a new survey from the Siena Research Institute (Oct. 11-13, 617 LV, MoE +/- 3.9%).

Just 40% of Republicans back the GOP nominee, Assembly Member Dede Scozzafava, as 27% back the more-conservative Hoffman. Hoffman also leads among independents with 31%, while Owens draws 28% of the independent vote and Scozzafava gets 24%.

Owens 33 (+5 vs. last poll, Oct. 1)
Scozzafava 29 (-6)
Hoffman 23 (+7)

"With just 10 points separating the three candidates, this is likely to be a very tight - and fiercely fought - campaign right through election day, now less than three weeks away," said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. "With one in six voters still undecided, who these undecided voters choose to support - if they choose to vote at all - will likely determine the outcome of this race. And given how tight the race is, this election may very well be won by a candidate with less than 40 percent of all the votes cast."

The three candidates are running to replace former congressman John McHugh (R-N.Y.), who left for an appointment as Secretary of the Army. McHugh had regularly won the district easily, with his lowest winning percentage (61%) coming in his first election in 1992. However, Barack Obama won the district by 5 points with 52% of the vote in 2008, after George W. Bush won by 4 points with 51% in 2004.