A poll released today by the Club for Growth shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman surging into the lead in the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district to replace John McHugh, the former congressman who recently became Secretary of the Army.Read the rest. The poll details are online in PDF format. This could be considered an "internal" poll, but it's the only poll released to date that fully refelects the "call the cops" meltdown by Scozzafava and the Palin endorsement. We're still waiting for the Quinnipiac numbers and the Thursday release of the next Siena poll.
The poll of 300 likely voters, conducted October 24-25, 2009, shows Conservative Doug Hoffman at 31.3%, Democrat Bill Owens at 27.0%, Republican Dede Scozzafava at 19.7%, and 22% undecided. The poll's margin of error is +/- 5.66%. . . .
UPDATE: At The American Spectator, Jim Antle writes:
Important caveats: The sample size is small, the undecided vote is large, Hoffman's lead is well within the nearly 6 percent margin of error, and the Club for Growth has endorsed Hoffman.Of course -- grain-of-salt time. The most important thing in these numbers, however, is the indication that the liberal Republican Scozzafava has slipped into third place.
Remember that NY23 has consistently voted 2-to-1 for the conservative Republican Rep. John McHugh. So if GOP voters in the district perceive Scozzafava as a likely loser, you can expect a decisive shift toward Hoffman by Republican voters whose main concern is not to give Nancy Pelosi another Democratic vote.
If such a shift occurs, and Hoffman gets 60% of the GOP vote, that would likely put him at about 40% -- neck-and-neck with the Democrat Owens in a three-way race, with Scozzafava getting about 20%.
UPDATE II: Filling in for Allahpundit on the pessimism beat, Ed Morrissey says:
Republicans usually win this district easily, so a 4-point lead over a Democrat is still worrisome -- and this is just one poll. Twenty-two percent undecided voters will make the difference."Worrisome"? Not really. Hoffman has low name ID, while Scozzafava is part of the GOP leadership team in the NY Assembly. Scozzafava is especially well-known in her legislative district, but that has only about a quarter of the voters in the congressional district. Once Republican voters get the idea that (a) Hoffamn is the conservative, and (b) Scozzafava is a loser, the vote-shift toward Hoffman should be decisive.
An outcome in the range of Hoffman 45%, Owens 35%, Scozzafava 20% is easily possible. There is a TV debate this week, but you aren't likely to have enough public polling afterward to be able to project the final Election Day numbers. Hoffman's had a solid week of good news, and his staff are optimistic, but working hard and keeping their fingers crossed.
Now a Memeorandum thread. We're linked by Reaganite Republican and by Fisherville Mike, who once worked for the guy who's now managing editor of the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times.
HOFFMANIA: CATCH IT!
Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election