Syracuse.com / Post-Standard / Siena College 24th Congressional District Poll:
In Dramatic Turn Around, Katko Now Leads Maffei By 10 Points, Having Trailed By 8 Points Last Month
Maffei Up Big in Syracuse; Katko Up Double Digits in Rest of District
Loudonville, NY. Republican challenger John Katko has turned an eight-point deficit five weeks ago into a 10-point lead today over Democratic Representative Dan Maffei. Katko leads 52-42 percent, having previously trailed 50-42 percent, according to a Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena College Research Institute (SRI) poll of likely 24th C.D. voters released today. Maffei continues his large lead in Syracuse, though down a little. What had been a closely divided electorate in the remainder of the district, however, is now solidly behind Katko.
“Campaigns, political parties and outside groups spend millions of dollars to produce mailings and commercials aimed at educating, influencing and moving voters. The results of that effort can clearly be seen in the 24th C.D. as voters have shifted dramatically and now support Katko – who had been trailing by eight points – giving him a 10-point lead against the incumbent, Maffei,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. “Katko has effectively brought Republicans ‘home,’ increasing his lead among them from 44 points to 71 points. And he’s increased his lead among independents from seven points to 21 points.
“While Maffei continues to hold a commanding 32-point lead in Syracuse, down from 48 points, Katko has opened 21-point lead in the rest of Onondaga County and a 13-point lead in the other counties. The areas outside of Syracuse had previously been neck-and-neck,” Greenberg said.
“Katko had been running slightly ahead of Maffei with men and trailing badly with women. Now, he has a narrow five-point lead with women and a larger 16-point lead with men,” Greenberg said.
“A key difference in the campaign since last month is in the way voters view Maffei. While his favorability rating had been eight points on the positive side, it’s now 13 points on the negative side, largely as a result of Republicans increasingly viewing him unfavorably,” Greenberg said.
“Katko has become much better known and is now viewed more favorably than Maffei. Republicans, in particular, have come to know Katko and view him as favorably as Democrats view Maffei,” Greenberg said. “The difference is that a plurality of independents views Katko favorably while a strong majority of independents views Maffei unfavorably.
Race for Governor Tightens, as Cuomo Lead Over Astorino Shrinks from 12 to Four Points
“Andrew Cuomo’s previous 12-point lead over Rob Astorino has now become a much tighter race. Cuomo leads Astorino 43-39 percent, with 13 percent for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, down from a 44-32 percent Cuomo lead,” Greenberg said. “Interestingly, the tightening of this race is virtually all a result of Republicans becoming more supportive of Astorino. Unlike Maffei’s serious erosion with independents, Cuomo actually increased his lead among independents from three points previously to seven points today.”
“Do campaigns matter? You bet they do. And to date, voters have been more responsive to Katko’s campaign messages than Maffei’s. Despite saying by a two-to-one margin – or maybe because of it – Maffei has been waging the more negative campaign, voters are actually now more favorable to Katko and more unfavorable to Maffei,” Greenberg said. “A week is a long time in the world of politics. There are many more commercials to be seen, many more mailings to be read and many more debates to be analyzed. But instead of trying to hold on for victory, Maffei is now forced to come from behind to beat Katko, if he intends to be re-elected.”
This Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena College 24th C.D. survey was conducted October 22-24, 2014 by telephone calls to 704 likely voters drawn from a list of registered voters. Determined by a stringent screen, likely voters were statistically adjusted to reflect historic turnout by gender and age, and by party registration. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points. 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. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.