In closing days, new poll shows Murphy taking lead over Tedisco
Congressional campaign races to finish
20TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT After weeks of building momentum, Democrat Scott Murphy has overtaken his opponent in the polls.
But not by much.
Murphy, of Glens Falls, leads Republican James Tedisco by four percentage points in a Siena Research Institute poll released today. The poll has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.
The survey was conducted Wednesday and Thursday by telephone to 917 likely voters in the district. Also on Wednesday, President Barack Obama endorsed Murphy.
In the poll, 47 percent of voters favored Murphy, while 43 percent said they would vote for Tedisco.
Ten percent are still undecided.
"This remains a very tight race, with intense campaign activity on both sides," said Steven Greenberg, spokesman for the Siena New York Poll. "Whichever side does a better job of getting their voters to the polls on Tuesday is likely to have a happier Tuesday night."
Murphy, 39, has come a long way in two months of campaigning.
Two weeks ago, he was four points behind Tedisco in a Siena poll.
Four weeks ago, a Siena poll showed Tedisco with a 12-point lead.
And in early February, a Republican-sponsored poll showed Tedisco 21 points ahead of Murphy, who then was relatively unknown.
"It is amazing how far he's come from that first poll where 60 percent of the people had no idea who he was," said Robert Turner, political science professor at Skidmore College.
"Now everyone has heard of him."
The Murphy campaign is gearing up for a big weekend with thousands of supporters working to encourage voters to get to the polls on Tuesday.
Despite more voters in the Siena poll backing Murphy, more of them still think Tedisco will win.
In Friday's poll, 45 percent of those surveyed said they think Tedisco will win the election, while only 35 percent think Murphy will be the next congressman.
Tedisco is optimistic for his chances as well.
Internal GOP polls still show him ahead, he said in a statement Friday.
"Today's Siena poll is simply another in a line of polls that show this race within the margin of error," Tedisco said.
Murphy, a venture capitalist and father of three young children, is running against the 58-year-old Assembly minority leader of Glenville to represent the 20th Congressional District. A special election will be held Tuesday to determine the winner.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Voters may look up the status of their registration at www.elections.state.ny.us and whether they live in the 20th district at nymap.elections.state.ny.us/nysboe.
The state Board of Elections officially decided today to give military voters filing absentee ballots more time for their votes to arrive and be counted.
Overseas and military ballots must be postmarked by Monday but now have until April 13 for those ballots to be received at the Board of Elections, a six-day extension over the original April 7 date.