Stefanik Has Early Double Digit Lead

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WWNY-7 News / Siena College 21st Congressional District Poll:
Stefanik Has Early Double Digit Lead Over Woolf
Voters: Jobs & Social Security/Medicare Top Issues; Pass Term Limits, Raise Minimum Wage, Enact ‘Buffett Rule’, Act on Immigration Reform
Majority Oppose More Middle East Political/Military Involvement;
Plurality Support Repealing & Replacing Obamacare
Stefanik Seen Better on Issues; Overall Lead Equals GOP Enrollment Edge

Loudonville, NY. With under eight weeks until Election Day, Republican Elise Stefanik has an early 13-point lead over Democrat Aaron Woolf in the race to succeed retiring Representative Bill Owens. Stefanik leads 46-33 percent, with 10 percent for Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello, and 11 percent undecided, according to a WWNY-7 News/Siena College Poll of likely 21st C.D. voters released today.

By large margins, likely voters say pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation (63-21 percent), enact the ‘Buffett Rule,’ applying a minimum income tax of 30 percent on millionaires (64-21 percent), raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour (66-24 percent), and amend the Constitution to include Congressional term limits (75-12 percent). By a narrower 48-38 percent margin voters support repealing Obamacare. Voters say, by a 56-38 percent margin, “we should concentrate on our problems,” rather than “do more both politically and militarily” in Syria and Iraq to combat terrorism. Jobs (31 percent) and Social Security/Medicare (22 percent) are the top issues for voters. In the governor’s race, Andrew Cuomo leads Rob Astorino 44-35 percent.

“In a district that’s seen close races in recent years, Stefanik has an early 13-point lead over Woolf, matching the Republicans’ 13-point enrollment edge among likely voters. With a third party candidate on the ballot, Stefanik remains four points shy of hitting 50 percent support,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Stefanik leads by more than 50 points among Republicans and Woolf has 38-point lead with Democrats. Independents are evenly divided.

“Stefanik has double digit leads in the western and southern portions of the district and leads by six points in the northeastern/central part of the district,” Greenberg said. “Voters think Stefanik will do a better job than Woolf on six issues, by margins ranging from five to 13 points.”

“The campaigns – and the electorate’s attention to the campaigns – are just starting to heat up. That may explain why these two newcomers to electoral politics in the district remain unknown to a large number of voters,” Greenberg said. “Nearly half of voters say they have not seen a Woolf commercial or been contacted by his campaign and nearly 40 percent say the same about the Stefanik campaign.”

Voters Say ‘Yes’ to Term Limits, Minimum Wage Increase, Immigration Reform, Buffett Rule
“Three-quarters of voters – and of all parties – say they want the Constitution amended to add congressional term limits. Two-thirds – including three-quarters of Democrats, nearly two-thirds of independents and a majority of Republicans – want the minimum wage raised from to $10.10,” Greenberg said. “By three-to-one margins – including strong majorities of all parties – voters support passing comprehensive immigration reform and enacting the Buffett Rule. All four of these issues tend to transcend partisanship.

“Obamacare, however, divides voters on a partisan basis. Democrats oppose its repeal and Republicans support repeal, as do a plurality of independents,” Greenberg said. “Another issue not divided by partisan lines is the view that the US should focus on issues at home rather than doing more in Syria and Iraq to combat terrorism, which is supported by 52 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats.”

Cuomo Has Nine-Point Lead Over Astorino; Both Have Negative Favorability Ratings
“Cuomo leads Astorino by nine points, including a nearly 50-point lead with Democrats and 11 points with independents, while Astorino leads with Republicans by 21 points. Cuomo has a negative 45-51 percent favorability rating. Astorino’s is a negative 24-37 percent, with 39 percent having no opinion,” Greenberg said.

“Stefanik has a solid early lead but with more than seven weeks till voters go to the polls, she has not closed the deal with voters and this race is far from over, particularly since only about one-third of voters say they are absolutely certain to stick with their current choice,” Greenberg said. “Both candidates have growth potential as they become more known to voters and as voters focus on the issues in the campaign.”

This WWNY-7 News/Siena College 21st C.D. survey was conducted September 4-9, 2014 by telephone calls to 591 likely voters. A likely voter screen was applied to the sample of registered voters that had been statistically adjusted to reflect party registration, gender and age. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in New York State. SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please call Steven Greenberg at 518-469-9858. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at:

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