By Tom Precious
ALBANY –- The lawmaker who heads the chief fundraising account for the State Senate Democrats said this week’s poll showing a big lead for Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti provides a vivid picture of how ticket-splitting can help, and hurt, candidates.
But Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, declined to say if the sour showing for challenger
Michael Amodeo, a Democrat (pictured at left), in the new Siena College poll will be enough to keep the Albany-based Senate Democratic campaign from pumping any money into the 60thSenate District race to help newcomer Amodeo.
“It’s one of the districts we are evaluating and considering, but we’ve not made any decisions,’’ Gianaris said. Still, in words that don’t sound good for Amodeo, he added, “We’re going to invest our resources in the districts that give us the best chance of winning.’’
So far, that help has gone to about nine other Senate Democratic campaigns in the past month or so. Senate Democrats for weeks have been saying they needed to see serious evidence -– commitments from local Democrats for major financial help and solid showing in polls –- before providing money to Amodeo. Republicans have a huge fundraising edge over Democrats in next month's battle for who gets to control the Senate.
Amodeo, who did not return calls after the Siena poll was released on Monday, found himself badly trailing Grisanti by 47 percent to 23 percent. Charles Swanick, a Democrat running on the Conservative Party line, got 17 percent of support in the Siena poll, while attorney Gregory Davis, a political unknown, drew 6 percent on the Working Families Party line.
“It shows the perils associated with splitting a ticket,’’ Gianaris said. But he said Republicans face that in other contests elsewhere, including a Dutchess County-based district.
“They have their trouble spots and we have ours in that regard,’’ Gianaris said.