Republican candidate leading in race to replace Roy McDonald
Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione's biggest challenge to joining the state Senate appears to be coming from the non-campaigning incumbent who endorsed her.
According to a Siena Research Institute poll released this morning for the 43rd Senate District, Marchione is garnering 40 percent of the vote in the 43rd Senate District, Sen. Roy McDonald is getting 29 percent of the vote and Democrat Robin Andrews is getting 23 percent of the vote. The 43rd Senate District includes parts of Rensselaer, Columbia, Saratoga and Washington counties.
McDonald, R-Saratoga, will appear on the Independence Party line on the ballot, but he hasn't been campaigning for the seat and has endorsed Marchione.
“It’s not often that we see a major party candidate in third place, however, there are clearly a large number of voters in the 43rd district who continue to have good feelings about their incumbent senator,” said Siena pollster Steve Greenberg in a statement.
In response to this poll, Greenberg said it inspires a lot of "what if" questions. "But the real question," he said, "four days before Election Day, is will more than a quarter of the voters actually vote for a candidate who has said he is not seeking to win?”
A poll conducted by an outside advocacy group after McDonald's loss in the Republican primary indicated that a three-way race would be competitive, if not very winnable for the incumbent.
The showing of support for McDonald comes even after pollsters specifically highlighted the fact in their questioning that the incumbent was not actively seeking this job.
Support for McDonald could erode on Election Day, though, as only 55 percent of his supporters say they are certain to stick with him. This is in sharp contrast with the 70 percent of Marchione voters and 65 percent of Andrews voters who are certain they won't be changing their minds.
In picking their candidate, 40 percent said same-sex marriage was a very important issue and 26 percent said the issue was somewhat important to them. Neither Marchione nor Andrews has publicly made a big deal about this issue in the wake of the primary.
In a district that has a strong Republican enrollment advantage, Marchione is garnering more than 60 percent of Republican support, according to this poll. For her part, Andrews is able to get 55 percent of her fellow Democrats to support her. McDonald picks from both parties almost evenly, with 26 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats backing him.
Voters who identify as independents are essentially split, with Marchione getting 38 percent, McDonald 35 percent and Andrews 20 percent.
In the portion of the district that isn't currently represented by McDonald, Marchione is doing her best and McDonald is doing his worst, as would be expected. This area basically just includes Columbia County, which is where Andrews is from, so it makes sense that she is only 8 points down to Marchione here.
In response to this poll, Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif argued that his party is in a good position to hang on to its majority.
"Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione holds a strong and commanding lead, even with three candidates' names on the ballot," Reif said.
Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy put out a generic statement regarding all three senate races covered in polls today by the Siena Research Institute. In his statement, Murphy said the polls indicated the Democratic message is resonating with voters.
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