Poll: Murphy Leads Tedisco

ALBANY—The latest independent poll on Tuesday's special congressional election finds Democrat Scott Murphy has a four-point lead on Assembly Minority leader Jim Tedisco, the Republican candidate. 

The margin of error is 3.2 percent, so Murphy's lead is barely statistically significant, but this is the high point of a stunning rise for Murphy, who was largely unknown in the district before he was named as the Democratic candidate in February. In the early stages of the race, it was widely assumed that Tedisco would easily win this Republican-heavy district—in which he's been an elected official since 1982.

(For example, of the 917 likely voters surveyed by the Siena Research Institute, 45 percent said they expect Tedisco to win, while 35 percent expect Murphy to win.)

"Murphy has sealed the deal with Democrats, leading 84-11 percent, while Tedisco has the support of less than two-thirds of Republicans, leading 64-27 percent.  Independents are virtually tied, with Tedisco leading 45-44 percent, after trailing with independents by six points two weeks ago and leading by 14 points four weeks ago," Siena Poll spokesman Steve Greenberg said in a release. "Tedisco's 16-point lead in Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties two weeks ago is down to six points. Murphy slightly expanded his lead in the northern counties from 25 to 29 points, and turned a seven-point deficit in the southern portion of the district into a two-point lead in two weeks."

Murphy's favorability rating is one point higher than Tedisco's, but more voters think Tedisco is running a negative campaign, 44-25. The poll also found that a higher percentage of voters thought ads on behalf of Tedisco were more off-putting than ads on behalf of Murphy, similar to the results of an earlier poll.

The candidates split independent voters, with 45 percent favoring Tedisco and 44 percent for Murphy. Ten percent are undecided.

Other polls have recently shown that the race is a toss-up.

UPDATE: Tedisco sends out the following statement:

  “Heading into Election Day, our campaign’s internal polling shows us continuing to lead, just as we have for this entire race.  Today's Siena poll is simply another in a line of polls that show this race within the margin of error.  In the end this race is coming down to voter intensity and turnout, and our internal polls show us with strong leads in both areas.  Unlike Scott Murphy’s campaign, we don’t have to pay our volunteers – we have homegrown grassroots, not Astroturf.  Our volunteers live, work and vote locally, and support my efforts to end Washington’s waste and Wall Street’s greed.  Going into the final weekend this race is exactly where we had said it would be all along: a close, competitive, hard-fought contest.  I am confident that our energetic, grassroots volunteers and message of fighting for Main Street, not Wall Street, will put us over the top this Tuesday.”

Poll: Murphy Leads Tedisco