A Siena poll yesterday showed incumbent Comptroller Tom DiNapoli with a big 17-point advantage over Republican rival Harry Wilson, but according to Wilson campaign strategist Bill O’Reilly: “We like where we are. We are doing all the things we have to do to win.”
The Politicker caught up with O’Reilly as he was traveling from Buffalo–where Wilson was endorsed by Rudy Giuliani–to Albany, where he has a morning event scheduled.
The wide margin in the Siena poll, while closer than the 26-point advantage DiNapoli had two weeks ago, surprised many on both sides of the aisle, who had assumed that Wilson was starting to close the gap. This race represents DiNapoli’s first statewide run, and Wilson has a big spending advantage.
O’Reilly said that the Siena poll oversampled Democrats, and that internal polls put the race much closer. He also accused the DiNapoli campaign of going negative, and said this indiacated DiNapoli’s internals must show a tighter race as well.
O’Reilly added, however, that there were three keys to closing whatever gap there is.
“You have to be on television a substantial amount. We are on television more than the opponent. You have to have editorial support which we are fortunate to have. You have to be right on the issues, which we think we are. And you have to work really hard, which we are doing,” he said.
Over the last several days Wilson has received the endorsement of The Times, The Daily News, The Post, Crain’s and Citizen’s Union.
O’Reilly said that Wilson and his wife are prepared to make substantial donations over the final days of the campaign. And although he said that it was unclear how much Carl Paladino would affect their race, he noted that 13 of the last statewide elections, voters have picked a comptroller from the opposite party 11 times.