Press-Republican

October 6, 2012

Owens leads polls; by how much disputed

By JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — A pair of recent polls show two different stories in the 21st Congressional District race.

One, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of Republican candidate Matt Doheny of Watertown, shows him just 5 points behind incumbent Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburgh.

The poll, which surveyed 400 likely voters on Oct. 1 and 2, showed Owens with 45 points and Doheny with 40.

But another survey conducted by Global Strategy Group, on behalf of Owens, showed the incumbent with a 14-point lead.

That poll, which surveyed 400 likely voters between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, had Owens with 50 points to Doheny’s 36.

An independent poll conducted last month by Siena College Research Institute showed Owens with a 49-36 lead over Doheny.

Green Party candidate Donald Hassig has not been a factor in any poll.

BIG PUSH

The recent Doheny numbers showed that just 35 percent of likely voters said that Owens should be re-elected.

It also said 47 percent feel it is more important to elect a Republican to serve as a check and balance to Democratic President Barack Obama’s policies.

“We’re going to work hard, seven days a week, all over the district,” Doheny said. “Voters need to understand that our current congressman is not getting the job done, and that I have the energy and passion to solve problems and get Washington working for those of us in the North Country.

“In the next 30 days, we’ll be spreading that message through our ground game, in the media and with television advertisements.”

‘WORKING FOR JOBS’

Owens’s poll said voters believe he is on the side of middle-class Americans by a count of 46 to 25 over Doheny and that he will protect Medicare benefits better than Doheny, by a margin of 42 to 23.

“We’ll keep talking with folks and traveling around the district, talking about how Bill is working for jobs on Main Street,” said Owens’s campaign manager, James Hannaway.

“After all, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.”

Owens was first elected in a special election in 2009 to fill the seat of Republican John McHugh, who was chosen by the president to become the secretary of the Army.

Owens defeated Conservative Party candidate Douglas Hoffman of Saranac Lake in a close race.

Doheny, who sought the Republican nomination in 2009, won a Republican primary in 2010 against Hoffman.

He then lost to Owens in a close race that also featured Hoffman on the Conservative Party ticket. Hoffman received 6 percent of the vote, despite not campaigning after losing the primary to Doheny.

Doheny won a primary over Kellie Greene of Sackets Harbor in June.

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com