Politics and Elections

September 12, 2012

Owens ahead in early poll on election

PLATTSBURGH — Incumbent Congressman Bill Owens has a double-digit lead over opponent Matt Doheny in an early poll.

The poll, conducted by Siena College, showed Owens, a Democrat, leading the Republican Doheny by a margin of 49 to 36 percent, with 6 percent favoring Green Party candidate Donald Hassig.

Eight percent of respondents were unsure, and 1 percent said they were not voting.

The poll was conducted Sept. 4, 5 and 6 among 638 likely voters in the 21st District, which covers 12 counties from Lake Ontario in the west to Lake Champlain in the east.

Doheny’s camp downplayed the numbers.

“We all know polls are merely snapshots in time,” the candidate said in a news release.

“Siena was in the field during the Democratic National Convention, so it’s laughable to think three nights of wall-to-wall television coverage didn’t have a bearing on these numbers. And despite that coverage being overwhelmingly pro-Democrat at all times, my opponent still cannot manage to crack 50 percent.”

Doheny, an investor from Watertown, is trying to unseat Owens, a Plattsburgh attorney, for the second time. Doheny lost a close race in 2010, which also featured Douglas Hoffman on the Conservative Party line. Hoffman, although he did not campaign after losing a Republican primary to Doheny, still got 6 percent of the vote.

Along with the Republican line, Doheny has the Conservative and Independence party lines this time.


The district was redrawn after the 2010 U.S. Census, morphing from the 23rd to the 21st.

In the Siena poll, Doheny did have a lead in the newest part of the district, which includes Fulton, Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties. In that region, he led with 41 to 37 percent over Owens.

Hassig had 9 percent, and 12 percent were unsure in that area.

In Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and Herkimer counties, Owens led 54 to 32 percent, with 5 percent for Hassig. Nine percent were unsure.

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