Loudonville, NY. ( Siena College) In the special election for the 26th Congressional District seat, Republican Jane Corwin currently has a small lead, with the support of 36 percent of voters. Democrat Kathy Hochul is supported by 31 percent, and independent Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party line, has the support of 23 percent of voters, according to a Siena (College) Research Institute poll of likely 26th CD voters released today.
Voters identified the federal budget deficit and jobs as the two most important issues they want their new Representative working on in Washington. Voters strongly support (58-36 percent) repealing the recently-enacted federal health care legislation. They strongly oppose cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits to help close the deficit (59-38 percent), however, they strongly support increasing personal income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans (62-35 percent), and they are divided (48-47 percent) on increasing corporate taxes.
“Republican Corwin holds a narrow five-point lead over Democrat Hochul, with independent Davis garnering nearly one-quarter of the vote. In a district with a seven-point edge for Republicans among enrolled voters and years of Republican representation, Corwin’s support lags behind Republican enrollment, while Hochul’s nearly matches Democratic enrollment,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
“The two major party candidates run virtually even in Erie County, with Corwin leading the rest of the district. Corwin leads Hochul by 10 points among men; they are virtually tied with women. Corwin leads by 14 points among voters under 55, while Hochul has a slim three-point lead among those voters 55 and older. Hochul has a 20-point lead in union households, while non-union households favor Corwin by 15 points,” Greenberg said.
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Siena College Poll – April 29, 2011
“Voters view both Corwin and Hochul favorably by 44-31 percent margins, and on Davis, the most known candidate, voters split 42-41 percent,” Greenberg said. “Not surprisingly, Hochul is viewed favorably by Democrats and independents, and unfavorably by Republicans, while Corwin is viewed favorably by Republicans and independents, and unfavorably by Democrats. Davis is also viewed favorably by Republicans and independents – more so by Republicans – and unfavorably by Democrats.”
“This may have been Paladino country last November, but now Democrat Andrew Cuomo is viewed overwhelmingly favorably in this district, while voters have a strongly unfavorable view of two other Democrats – President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Republican House Speaker John Boehner is viewed favorably,” Greenberg said. “That is certainly part of the reason that 53 percent of voters side with Boehner and the Republicans on most fiscal issues, while only 36 percent side with Obama and the Democrats.”
Voters rank the federal budget deficit (34 percent) and jobs (24 percent) as the two most important issues, followed by health care (13 percent), taxes (11 percent), America’s military involvement overseas (eight percent), and education (five percent).
“While voters side with Washington Republicans on wanting to repeal last year’s health care legislation, a majority sides with Washington Democrats on opposing cuts in entitlement programs and supporting an income tax increase on wealthier Americans,” Greenberg said. “Hochul voters support the Democratic position on all these issues and Corwin voters support the Republican positions. Davis voters, however, like the district overall, support the Republicans on health care and the Democrats on entitlements and taxes.
“A plurality of voters think Corwin is running the most negative campaign, and an even bigger plurality think she is the candidate most likely to win the election,” Greenberg said.
“At the moment, Hochul voters appear to be a little bit more committed to their candidate than are Corwin and Davis voters,” Greenberg said. “Three weeks is a lifetime in a tight political campaign like this, and the only thing obvious in this race is that voters are going to be inundated by commercials, mailings and campaigning. Stay tuned. Siena certainly will, and we will take another look as Election Day nears.”
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This Siena College 26th C.D. survey was conducted April 26-27, 2011 by telephone calls to 484 likely voters drawn from 801 registered voter households. A stringent likely voter screen was applied to the sample of registered voters that had been statistically adjusted to reflect party registration and age. It has a margin of error of + 4.5 percentage points. For more information, please call Steven Greenberg at 518-469-9858. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.