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New poll finds Hochul up by 6 points

    Democrat Kathleen C. Hochul now holds a six-point edge in the race for Congress in the 26th district, the latest poll in the race found late Sunday.

    Conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, the poll shows Hochul with 42 percent, Republican Jane L. Corwin with 36 percent and independent "Tea Party" candidate Jack Davis with 13 percent.

     The results closely track those of a Siena Research Institute poll that on Saturday showed Hochul up by 4 points.

     But unlike the Siena tally, the new poll of 1,106 likely voters shows Hochul with a lede well outside the margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. PPP conducted the poll Saturday and Sunday.

     “Kathy Hochul’s possible upset victory Tuesday is partially a reflection of an unusual three-way race,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “But it’s also indicative of the new Republican majority becoming very unpopular very fast. Barack Obama is more popular in this district than John Boehner.”

     Boehner has a 28 percent favorability rating, the poll found -- not far from the 25 percent favorability rating that an earlier poll found for former Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Boehner recently campaigned for Corwin in Lancaster, while Republicans are trying to paint Hochul as a puppet whose strings would be pulled by Pelosi.

    Corwin's unpopularity -- a key factor in the Siena poll -- showed itself again in the new poll. Some 52 percent of those surveyed had an unfavorable view of Corwin, the PPP poll found.

    Davis fared even worse, with 62 percent of voters viewing him negatively.

    But as for Hochul, only 37 percent have a negative view of her, while 51 percent viewed her positively.

    GIven that the district's enrollment is heavily Republican, there are still ways Corwin could win, the polling firm noted. Most notably, Davis' support is collapsing, and if it continues to do so, Corwin could benefit if those voters flock to her.

    "A Hochul win is by no means certain- the race remains very close, special elections are tricky to poll, and three-way races are even trickier to poll," said Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling. "But the fact that we're even talking about this race is a reflection of how far out of favor the new GOP House majority already is with the voting public."

    Unlike the Siena poll, which found Medicare to be the key issue in the race, the PPP included no detailed questions about which issues are pushing voters one way or another.

   Public Policy Polling, which did an earlier poll in the race for the Daily Kos website and a labor union, did this poll independently. The polling firm noted that while it polls for Democrats, New York Times polling guru Nate Silver found that its 2010 election polling skewed slightly toward the Republicans.

-- Jerry Zremski




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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |