Ann Marie Buerkle, Dan Maffei Tied in New Poll
Freshman Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and the man she defeated in 2010, former Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, are locked in a tied race in New York's 24th District, with Buerkle's support at a dangerous level for an incumbent, according to a new poll.
Buerkle and Maffei each draw 43 percent in a new Siena College poll released Thursday morning. Green candidate Ursula Rozum won seven percent and another seven percent of respondents said they're undecided.
Poll results registering under 45 percent are dangerous for incumbents, and there is little else in the Siena survey to comfort Buerkle as she fights for a second term. As many voters -- 44 percent -- view her unfavorably as favorably. Repeat candidates like Maffei, who is now running for the fourth time, often suffer from high negatives, but voters view him positively overall, with 49 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of him and 37 percent saying they have an unfavorable opinion.
Republicans have a greater opportunity to define Maffei -- which the National Republican Congressional Committee has already started doing with negative TV ads -- but Buerkle is already defined, and more negatively, to a larger portion of the population. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is also airing ads in the district and other outside groups have reserved airtime, too.
What's more, President Obama holds a large lead in the presidential race, beating Mitt Romney 55 percent to 36 percent in the district. Obama won just over 56 percent in the area in 2008, and his showing in the poll -- coupled with strong favorability ratings and weak numbers for Romney -- suggest the Democratic brand is doing well in the Syracuse area, a good sign for Maffei.