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New York: SurveyUSA Poll Shows Lee Ahead of Kryzan

Less than a week after a Democratic poll was released showing the Democrat with a 10-point lead, a new independent poll shows the Republican with a substantial edge in the race to replace retiring Rep. Tom Reynolds (R).

The automated SurveyUSA poll, taken for WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, found businessman Chris Lee (R) with 48 percent of the vote and attorney Alice Kryzan (D) with 37 percent. Jon Powers, the runner-up to Kryzan in the Democratic primary who is on the November ballot as the nominee of the Working Families Party, took 5 percent. Anthony Fumerelle, who until recently was on the ballot on the Independence Party line — which Lee now has — had 3 percent.

The poll of 609 likely voters, taken Sept. 24-25, had a 4.1-point margin of error.

In a district that leans Republican during presidential elections and has more enrolled GOP voters than Democrats, Lee was leading among self-identified independent voters by 15 points, but among self-described moderates by just 1 point.

Bloomberg Decision May Jolt Weiner Plans

In a development that could have major consequences for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) and other ambitious New Yorkers, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is set to announce tomorrow that he wants to run for a third term as mayor in 2009 — despite the local law limiting city officeholders to two terms.

According to several media outlets on Tuesday, Bloomberg will seek to work with the City Council to overturn the term limit law, which was passed twice by voters in the 1990s. He was emboldened to do so because Ron Lauder, the cosmetics heir and erstwhile mayoral contender who successfully funded the term-limit drive, indicated last month that he would not try to block an attempt to overturn the limits.

Bloomberg backers are arguing that with the city mired in a fiscal crisis, Bloomberg is uniquely equipped to govern. It is an argument that is eerily similar to the one that the supporters of Bloomberg’s predecessor, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), made for overturning term limits after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Bloomberg, a former Democrat, was elected twice as a Republican, but he became an independent last year and he presumably would seek a third term — if the law allows — as an independent.

Weiner, who fell just short of winning the Democratic nomination in the 2005 mayoral race, has been gearing up to try again next year. Other potential Democratic contenders include New York City Comptroller William Thompson and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. On the Republican side, supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis is already running, and Time-Warner Chief Executive Officer Richard Parsons and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly are also mentioned as possible candidates.

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