There have been quiet rumblings lately of multiple polls showing poor numbers for Assemblyman Rory Lancman’s congressional campaign and unexpectedly good number for one of his rivals, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, and earlier today, Colby Hamilton reported one of them from about a month ago showing Mr. Lancman “struggling to break into the low double digits.” We reached out to Mr. Lancman’s campaign about the numbers this afternoon, to which they responded with heavy vitriol towards the third candidate, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, who conducted the poll.
“Meng’s phony poll is a slap in the face to the over 1 million union members who have endorsed Rory Lancman, and distracts from the growing awareness in the district that Rory is the only candidate who knows what to do in Congress once he gets there,” spokesman Hank Sheinkopf said in a statement.
In most parts of the country, it would be expected that one internal poll should be countered with one another from a rival campaign, but in New York State, there’s actually a law on the books that discourages campaigns from publicly releasing their own internal polls for political purposes, so — publicly — we’re mostly dealing with vague numbers and insinuations at this point.
On the other hand, Ms. Crowley’s campaign has been performing perhaps better than initially expected; she recently picked up endorsements of two unions with 100,000 and 50,000 members in New York City respectfully, and observers aren’t viewing her as the same also-ran they may have when she first entered the race. She might also be benefiting somewhat in the polling due to name recognition from her 2009 Council race and electorate’s familiarity her cousin, Congressman Joe Crowley, who represents a neighboring district.
For what it’s worth, polling in this diverse northeastern Queens Congressional District’s primary is naturally difficult, not the least due to the the plethora of languages spoken there, as well as a unique date for Election Day, which will make get-out-the-vote operations far more of a determinant than in a normal election.