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Dueling polls

Congressional candidates release internal polls; Owens leads both, but by different margins

October 5, 2012
By CHRIS MORRIS - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Republican congressional candidate Matt Doheny still trails his opponent, U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, in the polls, but he says momentum is on his side as Election Day draws closer.

Doheny, a businessman from Watertown, will be on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines in the Nov. 6 election in New York's new 21st Congressional District. An internal poll commissioned by the Doheny campaign, released Wednesday, shows him trailing Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, by a margin of 45-40. The poll was conducted Oct. 1 and 2 by Public Opinion Strategies, a national political and public affairs firm based in Virginia that primarily serves Republican clients.

In a memo sent to the Enterprise, Robert Blizzard of Public Opinion Strategies wrote that Doheny's standing on the ballot has "improved dramatically" since early September, when a Siena Research Institute poll showed him trailing Owens 49-36.

Article Photos

Rep. Bill Owens, left, and Matt Doheny
(Enterprise file photos)

"Owens remains very vulnerable in a district that wants a check-and-balance on the President's programs and policies," the memo reads. "It's clear the momentum is on Matt Doheny's side in this race."

Doheny told the Enterprise his campaign will continue to work hard until the polls close Nov. 6.

"Going out and being able to mobilize people on the ground for the far-flung, 12-county district that we have is very important," he said. "We'll continue to make sure people understand that our current congressman is not doing the job. ... It's a very close race. We're building. We like our progress, we like where we are, and we will continue to work hard and make sure people know there's a clear choice."

A separate internal poll, sponsored by the Owens campaign, shows Owens holding on to a double-digit lead. The Global Strategy Group (a public affairs and research firm based in New York City that works with the Democratic Party) poll, also released Wednesday, has Owens leading Doheny by a 50-36 margin, with 14 percent undecided.

"Owens has a strong and clear advantage heading into November," the poll memo said. "Matt Doheny has the difficult task of persuading nearly all undecided voters to his side. That task is made that much more problematic by the fact that Congressman Owens has higher favorables and lower unfavorable than Doheny and Owens has a clear advantage on a number of key issues."

"We'll keep meeting with folks and traveling around the district, talking about how Bill is working for jobs on Main Street," Owens' campaign manager, James Hannaway, wrote in an email. "After all, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day."

Neither poll included figures for Green Party candidate Don Hassig.


Contact Chris Morris at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or



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