A new poll of New York’s 23rd Congressional District from the Club For Growth, which is backing Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman in the race, effectively shows that the race is now a statistical dead heat among all three candidates:
Washington – A poll released today by the Club for Growth shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman surging into the lead in the special election in New York’s 23rd congressional district to replace John McHugh, the former congressman who recently became Secretary of the Army.
The poll of 300 likely voters, conducted October 24-25, 2009, shows Conservative Doug Hoffman at 31.3%, Democrat Bill Owens at 27.0%, Republican Dede Scozzafava at 19.7%, and 22% undecided. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 5.66%. No information was provided about any of the candidates prior to the ballot question.
This is the third poll done for the Club for Growth in the NY-23 special election, and Doug Hoffman is the only candidate to show an increase in his support levels in each successive poll. The momentum in the race is clearly with Hoffman.
This result stands in contracts to the other recent polls conducted in the race, which seemed to show that the Democratic candidate was benefiting from a divided Republican electorate:
Of course, it’s worth noting that there are obvious reasons to discount the Daily Kos poll, and there are some serious doubts about the Club for Growth poll as well.
For one thing, Basswood Research appears to be an exclusively Republican polling firm and there’s absolutely no indication that it’s methodology is accurate or reliable.
For another, the 5 3/4% margin of error is unusually high, and means that the numbers themselves give no indication of who might be in the lead.
Finally, with one-fifth of the electorate undecided, a number that doesn’t seem to have changed all that much from the previous polls, it’s pretty clear that this race is far from being decided.
Personally, I’m going to wait until we get a poll from an unbiased source like Siena College to see where this race might really be going.