Siena Poll: Stachowski Rallies, Maltese Hangs On

A new poll from Siena College [PDF] of six key State Senate races show Democrats on the verge of ousting an incumbent on Long Island, and successfully defending a seat in Erie County, but losing in Buffalo–and possibly even in Queens.

If the results of the Siena poll hold on Election Day, Democrats will gain one State Senate seat, and have a decent chance of winning a second–and the coveted majority. But many races are tight.

Democratic challenger Brian Foley has opened up a twenty two-point lead (56-34) against incumbent Republican Caesar Trunzo [clarified]. In Siena's September poll, Trunzo led Foley 46 to 40 percent.

David Paterson is expected to join Foley for a rally later this afternoon.

Incumbent Democrat Bill Stachowski has regained his lead against Republican challenger Dennis Delano, 47 to 43 percent. In the October poll, Stachowski trailed 49 to 36 percent and after that, saw a parade of high-profile Democratic visitors. Chuck Schumer traveled upstate and endorsed him, and Bill Clinton recorded a robocall. It's not the sort of thing an incumbent Democrat usually needs in a year the party is favored, but Stachowski's challenger is a former police officer who avoided debates and public forums in the hopes of riding the name recognition he earned solving high-profile police cases.

The more attention Democrats put on the race, it seems, the better Stachowski does.

In Queens, incumbent Republican Serf Maltese is stubbornly holding onto a two-point lead over Democratic challenger and City Councilman Joe Addabbo has a two-point lead (45-43) over incumbent Serf Maltese, but that's still within the margin of error.

Michael Bloomberg has come out to endorse Maltese, while Paterson, Schumer and other Democrats have united behind Addabbo.

In Buffalo, Republican Michael Ranzenhofer's place in the polls jumped nine points–he now leads boxer-turned-Democratic State Senate candidate "Baby" Joe Mesi 47-42 percent. In September, Ranzenhofer trailed 40 to 38 percent.

The shift in that race may be because Republicans have focused attention on one of Mesi's high-profile supporters, billionaire Tom Golisano, who they say has improperly poured money into the race. Whether or not the accusation is substantive, Siena shows it may have taken a toll on Mesi's popularity.