Senate District Polls: Republicans Lead in SDs 41, 46, 55

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41st SD: Republican Challenger Serino Leads by 12 Points over Incumbent Democrat Gipson (won with 44% in 3-Way Race in ’12)
46th SD Rematch: Republican Challenger Amedore Holds 10-Point Lead over Incumbent Democrat Tkaczyk (won by 18 votes in ’12)
55th SD: Republican Challenger Funke Has Commanding 25-Point Lead over Incumbent Democrat O’Brien (won by 4 Points in ’12)

Loudonville, NY. Three State Senate Democrats are facing their first re-elections. All, elected in a presidential election year – when turnout tends to favor Democrats – must now face the voters in a gubernatorial year, where Republicans traditionally outperform their enrollment. The Siena College poll looks at all three races.

41st SD – Dutchess and Putnam Counties – Terry Gipson (Incumbent) – D/WFP vs. Susan Serino – R/C/I
Seeking his first re-election, incumbent Democrat Terry Gipson is facing a 12-point deficit against Republican challenger Susan Serino, who leads 52-40 percent, according to a new Siena College poll of likely voters in the 41st Senate District, covering parts of Dutchess and Putnam Counties. Governor Andrew Cuomo is slightly edging Rob Astorino 45-42 percent, with seven percent for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.

“Gipson won with 44 percent of the vote two years ago – a presidential election year – beating the incumbent Republican by about 2,000 votes, while a Conservative candidate garnered 17,000 votes. Now, Serino, running on the Republican and Conservative lines, has a 52-40 percent lead, and a significantly better favorability rating than Gipson,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. “While both candidates do a good job of holding onto voters in their party, she leads with independents by 26 points.”

“Serino and Gipson are splitting the vote of those voters 55 and older, but Serino is leading by 25 points with younger voters,” Greenberg said. “She leads by 17 points in the smaller Putnam portion of the district and 11 points in the Dutchess portion. Serino leads by 17 points with men and seven points with women.

“With a barely positive 40-37 percent favorability rating, Gipson is under water by 11 points with independents, while Serino, with a better than two-to-one favorability rating, has a 52-21 percent favorability rating with independents,” Greenberg said.

“Astorino is giving Cuomo a run for his money with the likely voters in the 41st S.D., barely trailing 45-42 percent, and leading with independents by six points,” Greenberg said. “Cuomo leads with women by 19 points, while Astorino leads by 14 points with men.

“Gipson benefited from a three-way race two years ago. In a head-to-head competition, he clearly has ground to make up. Serino is a well-known and well-liked challenger and with four weeks to go she’s over the magic 50 percent mark. Gipson will have to close the gap with independents if he wants to close the overall gap and tighten the race,” Greenberg said.

46th SD – Albany, Greene, Montgomery, Schenectady, and Ulster Counties – Cecilia Tkaczyk (Incumbent) – D/WFP vs. George Amedore – R/C/I
In a rematch of the closest State Senate election from 2012, Republican challenger George Amedore leads incumbent Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk 52-42 percent, according to a new Siena College poll of likely voters in the 46th Senate District, covering all or parts of five counties, from Montgomery down to Ulster. Astorino leads Cuomo 43-35 percent, with 11 percent for Hawkins.

“After losing by 18 votes two years ago, Amedore heads into the final month of the campaign with a 10-point lead over Tkaczyk and a better favorability rating as well,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. “Tkaczyk and Amedore are doing similarly well holding onto voters in their own party, however, Amedore leads by 19 points with independent voters.

“While they’re running virtually even with women voters, Amedore has a 17-point lead with men. The candidates are dividing the votes in the southern Ulster and Greene Counties portion of the district, and Amedore leads by 16 points in the northern Albany, Montgomery, Schenectady Counties region. Additionally, Amedore is getting support from nearly one-quarter of Cuomo supporters,” Greenberg said.

“Amedore has a net +25-point favorability rating, and is stronger with Republicans than Tkaczyk is with Democrats. He’s not as negative with Democrats as she is with Republicans, and he’s much stronger with independents than is Tkaczyk, who has a net +10 point favorability rating,” Greenberg said.

“This is the first state senate or congressional district Siena has polled where Astorino leads Cuomo,” Greenberg said. “Astorino leads among Republicans bigger than Cuomo does with Democrats, largely because 17 percent of Democrats say they’re supporting Hawkins. And Astorino – who has a break even favorability rating – has a 13-point lead with independents over Cuomo – who has a two-to-one negative favorability rating.

“This race was the squeakiest of squeakers two years ago, in a Presidential election year, when turnout traditionally favors Democrats. This year’s version certainly has the potential to be tight heading into Election Day but Tkaczyk and the Democrats are going to have to outwork Amedore and the Republicans – particularly in winning over independents and turning out voters of their party – if they want to close the current gap,” Greenberg said.

55th SD – Monroe and Ontario Counties – Ted O’Brien (Incumbent) – D/WFP vs. Rich Funke – R/C/I
Republican challenger Rich Funke enjoys a comfortable 25-point, 57-32 percent lead over incumbent Democratic freshman Ted O’Brien, according to a new Siena College poll of likely voters in the 55th Senate District, covering parts of Monroe and Ontario Counties. Cuomo leads Astorino by 10 points, 47-37 percent, with seven percent for Hawkins.

“A long time and popular newscaster, Funke is better known and viewed far more favorably than O’Brien, even in a district with slightly more likely Democratic voters than Republicans,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. “Funke’s got 84 percent of Republicans in his corner, compared to O’Brien’s 61-28 percent lead with Democrats. And Funke has a crushing 37-point lead with independents.

“There is zero gender gap, as Funke leads by 23 points with men and 26 points with women. Where Funke has the support of 93 percent of Astorino voters, O’Brien leads with Cuomo voters by less than two-to-one, 56-30 percent,” Greenberg said. “Unknown to one-quarter of voters, O’Brien has a breakeven 38-36 percent favorability rating, while Funke has a nearly three-to-one positive favorability rating, 60-23 percent, including 41-40 percent with Democrats.

“Cuomo leads Astorino by 10 points, 47-37 percent, including picking one-quarter of Funke voters. Cuomo has the support of more than three-quarters of Democrats, compared to Astorino’s nearly two-thirds of Republicans and the two are running virtually even with independents,” Greenberg said. “Cuomo leads with women by 16 points, while the two are closely dividing men.”

“Facing a sitting Assemblyman for this open seat district two years ago, O’Brien won by four percentage points. Now facing a non-politician, local celebrity in Funke, O’Brien has a lot of catching up to try and do in just four weeks,” Greenberg said. “Funke is popular and has an overwhelming lead with independents, while picking up a sizeable share of Democrats. O’Brien’s challenge cannot be overstated.”

These SRI State Senate surveys were conducted by telephone calls to likely voters in each State Senate district. For the 41st S.D. – conducted from October 1-2, 2014 – 460 voters were included in the sample, with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points. For the 46th S.D. – conducted from September 30 – October 1, 2014 – 470 voters were included in the sample, with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points. For the 55th S.D. – conducted from October 1-2, 2014 – 471 voters were included in the sample, with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points. For each survey, a likely voter screen was applied to a representative sample of registered voters then weighted by age, gender and historical party turnout. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. 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. Cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at:

State Senate Polls 2 SDs 41 46 55 — 11-2-14 — FINAL.

SD461014 Crosstabs

SD551014 Crosstabs

SD411014 Crosstabs