The new Siena poll
further confirms that the NY-23 special election has become a tight race between Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, with moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava in third place for this GOP-held seat.
The numbers: Owens 36%, Hoffman 35%, and Scozzafava 20%, with a Â±3.7% margin of error. In the previous Siena poll from two weeks ago, Owens had led with 33%, Scozzafava was in second with 29%, and Hoffman trailed with 23%.
In addition, the new poll finds that only 29% of likely voters view Scozzafava favorably, with 51% viewing her unfavorably. By contrast, Owens is in positive territory at 40%-36%, and Hoffman at 41%-37%.
"Unfortunately for Assemblywoman Scozzafava, this has become a two person race between Owens and Hoffman," said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg, in the polling memo. "She now has the support of only one in five voters, having gone from 35 percent support to 20 percent support since the beginning of the month."
So if Scozzafava is in third, who is she taking more votes from? Greenberg told us that there's no clear verdict on that question:
It is conjecture at this point as to which of the two other candidates current Scozzafava voters would support were she not to be in the race, or were they to decide that she couldn't win and wanted to use their vote to help pick the winner. Scozzafava's current supporters give Owens a 19-50 unfavorable rating and an only slightly worse 15-57 unfavorable rating for Hoffman.
I think it's important to remember that the vast majority of her current support comes from voters in the counties she currently represents in the State Assembly, thus the voters who know her the best.