Polls taken in the 29th District, and other polls related to the race.

Massa Poll Details

The Massa campaign has released [pdf] a memo from their polling company.  Again, this is a candidate-sponsored poll.  The case made by the pollsters: a significant number of undecideds still exist, and the only thing that's standing between them and a vote for Massa is getting to know him better.

Massa's New Poll

Eric Massa's weekly diary reports that internal campaign polls show the race in the 29th as a dead heat.  This is only the second public report of polling data in the 29th - the first was in April.  Both have been by the Massa campaign, and both show the race in a dead heat.  Neither the Kuhl campaign nor a third party has released a poll in this race, so we'll have to make do with this one, while considering the source.

Polling News

What does "lean Republican" really mean?

Today's Rothenberg Report rates both the 29th and near-neighbor NY-20 in this category. And a new Siena poll in the 20th shows Republican John Sweeney leading his opponent by 19 points.

That's a pretty big lean.

Polling Tidbits

The Daily Kos story about Massa's AFL-CIO endorsement contains an interesting fact and some titillating polling gossip.   

The fact is that the 29th leans 5.2% Republican according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index.  That's still near the middle of the distribution of all congressional districts (full discussion of that graph in the middle of this page).  In other words, though the 29th is considered conservative, it is closer to the center than to the edge.

The gossip concerns the Massa poll I wrote about earlier.  In the comments, gossipers claim they have talked to Massa or Massa staffers say the following:

It showed Massa and Kuhl as roughly tied even though Massa's name recognition was about 20% and Kuhl's was in the 80s.

In that internal poll, Massa was two points behind Kuhl with a 4% margin of error. [...] And there's more: when a neutral statement was read about each candidate, Massa went up 30 points.

Again, consider the source, but this will have to do until one of the area media outlets ponies up for a poll.

What Issues "Cut" in the 29th?

A recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll for NPR took a look at the 50 most contested congressional districts, the 29th among them.   They found that the top four issues in the minds of likely voters are:

  1. The War in Iraq
  2. Jobs and the Economy
  3. Taxes and Spending
  4. Health Care

The full results [pdf] also show that voters in these districts are enthusiastic and inclined throw out incumbents. 

Mystery Pollster has done some further analysis on the data.  One interesting tidbit that he extracted from Greenberg et al. is that the 29th is in their "bottom tier" of competitive races.  This is consistent with the work of other respected analysts like the Cook Political Report, which rates the 29th as "lean Republican" rather than the more competitive "toss up", and UVA Professor Larry Sabato, who rates it "likely Republican".


Jonesing for a Poll

One of the frustrations of Congressional races is the lack of good publicly-available polling. Kuhl and Massa probably have great internal polls that tell them how they're doing precinct-by-precinct. The general public has to make do with vague national polls and the crumbs that the campaigns want to throw us.

The last poll that I've seen for this race is a four months old. It showed the race at a statistical dead heat, and Randy's negatives at 50%. It was produced by Massa's campaign, so caveat emptor, but it's the freshest crumb we have.

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