Republican Matt Doheny leads Democratic Rep. Bill Owens by a wide margin in an upstate New York district, according to a poll released Thursday by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The NRCC provided a polling memo that showed Doheny ahead of Owens 51 percent to 37 percent. The poll, however, was conducted Sept 22-23, before conservative Doug Hoffman suspended his campaign this week. Hoffman, who was running on the Conservative Party ballot line, threatened to draw significant support away from Doheny in what is a Republican-leaning district. While Hoffman is no longer actively campaigning, his name will still appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The poll, by the GOP firm of Public Opinion Strategies, showed Doheny would pick up 68 percent of Hoffman’s supporters. It also found 30 percent of voters think Owens has done well enough to deserve re-election, while 47 percent say it is time for a change.
“I think this shows this is a generically Republican district,” NRCC spokesman Tory Mazzola said.
Owens captured a Republican-held district in a special election last fall in part because of infighting among Republicans, including Hoffman.
Democrats think Doheny has liabilities as a businessman who recently moved to the district from New York City.
“When it comes to upstate New York, it’s tough to take anything from the NRCC seriously. As upstate New Yorkers learn more about Wall Street’s Matt Doheny and his history of laying off workers while helping executives land millions in bonuses, they’ll quickly realize he’s the wrong choice this November,” said Shripal Shah, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The poll of 400 likely voters had a margin of error of 4.9 points.