Siena Poll: Owens 44, Doheny 43
Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., looks set for a repeat of his close 2010 race this year, as a new independent poll released Thursday showed him locked in a statistical tie with his repeat Republican challenger and far below 50 percent support.
The second Siena College poll of New York's 21st District showed Owens with 44 percent of the vote to 43 percent for GOP nominee Matt Doheny. Green Party nominee Donald Hassig pulled four percent in the poll, while eight percent said they were undecided. That represents a significant tightening from Siena's September survey in the North Country district, which found Owens with a comfortable 49 percent to 36 percent lead over Doheny.
The new poll was conducted by Siena College from Oct. 29-30, surveying 629 likely voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.9 percentage points.
A plurality of voters -- 47 percent -- still view Owens favorably, just slightly down from his 51 percent rating in September. But 38 percent of voters now view Owens unfavorably, a sharp increase from 22 percent in September. Doheny and outside groups including the National Republican Congressional Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Americans for Tax Reform have hammered Owens with TV ads about his record and a trip he took to Taiwan that was organized by lobbyists.
Doheny's unfavorables have also risen sharply, to 41 percent from 31 percent. About the same number of people -- 43 percent -- view Doheny favorably, up from 36 percent in September.