Poll Shows Hoffman a Close Last

ALBANY—Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party's designee to replace John McHugh in Congress, released a poll this morning which shows him in last place but, according to the pollster, "a very viable candidate that can win."

The poll, conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, shows that Hoffman was the choice of 19 percent of voters surveyed, compared to 20 percent who picked Democratic Party designee Bill Owens and 30 percent who picked Republican Dede Scozzafava. As an assemblywoman, Scozzafava is the only designated candidate who holds public office.

The poll found 31 percent of voters are undecided. In all, 300 "likely general election voters" were surveyed on August 25-26, giving the results a 5.7 percent margin of error. It is, of course, an internal poll. But the showing for Hoffman is solid. Few people consider him able to win the race–he is, after all, a third-party candidate–but expect that he could siphon enough support from Scozzafava to split the right-leaning electorate and bolster Owens.

The release is below:

Ballot Analysis:

 

Doug Hoffman, who has never held elected office and only recently entered the race, already garners 19% of the vote; Owens 20% and Scozzafava 30%.  The plurality, 31%, is undecided.  Given that Dede Scozzafava is the only current office holder on the ballot, her 30% share of the vote is a sign of significant weakness.  In contrast, conservative Republican Doug Hoffman has an excellent chance of winning this election. 

 

If the 2009 special election for United States Congress were held today, and the candidates were Dede Scozzafava, the Republican party candidate, Bill Owens, the Democratic party candidate, and Doug Hoffman, the Conservative party candidate for whom would you vote?

 

Vote

Lean

Total

Dede Scozzafava

26

4

30%

Bill Owens

17

3

20%

Doug Hoffman

16

3

19%

Undecided

31%

 

This race is shaping up to be a clear choice among a liberal Republican, a liberal Democrat, and a true Conservative.  This clearly makes Doug Hoffman a very viable candidate who can win.  Among all likely voters, only 18% identify themselves as liberal, 31% as moderate, and the plurality, 44%, as conservative.  On abortion, the voters also decidedly pro-life: pro-life – 56%/pro-choice – 38%.  Further, 34% of all voters identified themselves as Democrats (actual registration is 31%), while nearly half, 46%, identified themselves as Republicans (actual registration is 43%).  Among all Republicans, 64% say that they are conservatives and only 5% describe themselves as liberal.  What's more, 71% of all voters said they are willing to vote for a candidate on the Conservative line. 

 

The conservative nature of the district is further exemplified on the brief biographical ballots we tested.  On each ballot, the more conservative candidate beats both the Democrat and the liberal Republican.  In fact, the liberal Republican fares worst on both ballots.  Doug Hoffman is the only true Conservative in this race and the only candidate with the profile to win. 

 

Who would you prefer to represent you in Congress?  A Democrat who will help Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress pass their agenda. A Liberal Republican who will vote like Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.  OR, A Conservative Republican who will vote to be a true check and balance to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress.

 

Total

Conservative Republican

56%

Democrat

24%

Liberal Republican

8%

DK/Refused

12%

 

 

All things being equal, based on the following descriptions for whom are you more likely to vote for U.S. Congress?  If you will decide your vote on other issues just say so.  A Democratic candidate who is pro-abortion and is supported by Nancy Pelosi, who supports gay marriage.  A liberal Republican who is pro abortion and pro gay marriage, OR,  A Conservative Republican who is running on the Conservative Party line, who is pro-life and pro traditional marriage.

 

Total

Conservative Republican

48%

Democrat

17%

Liberal Republican

13%

Base vote on other issues

16%

DK/Refused

5%

 

Although Barack Obama won this district last November, the majority of voters, 54%, currently disapprove of Barack Obama's job performance.  This is not surprising given the conservative nature of the district.  

 

How would you rate the job that Barack Obama is doing as President?  Would you say he is doing an excellent, good, fair or poor job?

 

Total

Excellent / Good

45%

   Excellent

19%

   Good

29%

Fair / Poor

54%

   Fair

25%

   Poor

29%

DK/Refused

1%

 

Conclusion:

 

Doug Hoffman has immediately projected himself as a candidate who can win this election for Congress. 

 

With such a large percentage of the voter's who are undecided, the electorate is looking for a candidate they can support.  This district is conservative by nature and given the opportunity, they will support the Conservative candidate.   In a field divided among only one conservative vs. two more liberal opponents, it is clear that Doug Hoffman can win.  With enough support, Doug Hoffman will win this election. 

  

Key Demographics:

 

By Ideology:

 

Total

Liberal

18%

Moderate

31%

Conservative

44%

 

By Party Registration:

 

Total

Republican

46%

Democrat

34%

Independent/Other

20%

 

By Gender:

 

Total

Male

48%

Female

52%

 

By Religion:

 

Total

Protestant

41%

Catholic

44%

 

By Abortion:

 

Total

Pro-Choice

38%

Pro-Life

56%

 

Methodology: 

 

This poll of 300 likely general election voters in New York Congressional District 23 was conducted from August 25th and 26th, 2009.  All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers.

Interview selection was random within predetermined geographic units.  These units were structured to correlate with actual voter distributions in a general election.

 The poll of 300 likely general election voters has an accuracy of +/- 5.7% at a 95% confidence interval.