Saturday, October 24, 2009

NY23: New DKos poll -- Dem gains?

The topline numbers of the Research 2000 poll (Oct. 19-21) commissioned by Daily Kos:
Bill Owens (D) 35%
Dede Scozzafava (R) 30%
Doug Hoffman (Cons.) 23%
Not sure what to make of this poll, since the methodology -- screening for "likely voters," etc. -- is opaque. Research 2000 is a reputable firm, and there is no reason to suspect any particular bias. However, let me make a few quick points:
  • The polling period was Monday through Wednesday, before Dick Armey came in Thursday to campaign for Hoffman, before the Sarah Palin endorsement, before the Glenn Beck radio interview, before the Neil Cavuto TV interview, etc.
  • This will be a difficult race to poll. It's a stand-alone special election in an off-off-year, and very low turnout is to be expected. So it's a get-out-the-vote battle and the campaign with the most energy and enthusiasm has a built-in advantage.
  • Remember that this district has routinely gone 65% or more Republican even in bad GOP years like 2006 and 2008. If Owens is at 35%, that's merely the standard Democratic vote in NY23. The big question is whether undecided Republicans break toward Scozzafava or Hoffman.
  • Scozzafava has the highest negative ratings (35%) of any of the three candidates -- Owens negatives are 24% and Hoffman's are 19%. Which is to say, Scozzafava has nowhere to go but down.
  • Because Research 2000 has not polled HY23 before, we can't compare numbers to identify a trend. The strong gain for Hoffamn between the first Siena poll (ending Sept. 30) and the second (Oct. 13) is the best trend indication. A third Sienna poll (conducted this coming Monday and Tuesday) will be out on Thursday. The Quinnipiac poll is also due soon.
A relative lack of name recognition is Hoffman's big hurdle, but having spent three days in the 23rd District, I can tell you that his ads are in heavy rotation on Fox News. To the extent that Republican voters are Fox News watchers, Hoffman is certain to be gaining support on that basis alone.

Because I just got off the road -- drove all night to get home -- I'm kind of fazed and need to get some sleep. But I will caution people about judging this campaign and this district through the media lens. The 23rd district is very, very rural -- East Kentucky rural.

Pollsters always emphasize that a poll is a "snapshot." Opinion trends are dynamic, not static, and it's a mistake to think of a poll taken three weeks before Election Day as a prediction of the final outcome.

UPDATE: Melissa Clouthier has a new Pajamas Media column about Sarah Palin's Hoffman endorsement.


  1. Second-hand LukeSat Oct 24, 01:13:00 PM

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  2. These are the same poll results as reported early Friday......any newer results?

    Need workable email addy for Gingrich-----website addy brings up errors. He needs to w/d support of Scuzface.

    Let's get an email campaign going to demand Newt to withdraw his endorsement.

  3. Let's get an email campaign going to demand Newt to withdraw his endorsement.

    Don't waste your time. He won't do it. It has been suggested that the reasons for his endorsement were not entirely ideological -- and I'll say no more than that.

  4. Stacy, Mark Levin endorsed Hoffman and had him on his show Wednesday.( He also broke the Sarah Palin endorsement live. Levin has been revving up donations through his site and his Faceboook all week.Rush has also spoken of Hoffman and the race and the SP endorsement multiple times. My intuition is that Hannity has been on it on both radio and TV, too.

    I watched the clips of the Glenn Beck interview on Friday and he personally had no idea about Doug Hoffman or the race (neither did his sidekick...yeah). Beck is so highly overrated and I am tired of seeing him get credit that he does not deserve for things he has not done or has been late to the party.(He lost me the first time he said there was no difference between the two parties...and the inference that a 3rd party is the way to go. On 912 I had to switch to CSpan because I could not see the action because his ego was blocking the screen.And his manic commentary was making my ears bleed. I was trying to tweet info not his self datisfaction...)

    Lastly, and most importantly, I appreciate your reporting.

  5. Linked to at:
    23 SKIDOO V

    Stacy: GET SOME SLEEP. We want you around for a while.

  6. Sharon, for goodness sakes, how can you not see that Republican have done NOTHING to reduce the size of government. They have INCREASED it. Don't blame Glenn for pointing out the obvious. I have a much bigger problem with Rush and the triumvirate (Rush, Levin, Hannity). For 8 years they trumpeted that the GOP was the only hope, sitting idly by while the GOP increased government and became more and more corrupt.

    Wake up lady.