An internal poll released this week by New York Assemblyman Greg Balls (R) campaign that showed him in a competitive position in his challenge to Rep. John Hall (D) did not represent a cross section of voters from the entire 19th district but rather two-thirds of the district Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, in the east. The poll excluded Orange County and the portion of Rockland County in the district. Hall defeated challenger Kieran Michael Lalor (R ) by about 8,000 votes in that western segment of the district in 2008. The poll also oversampled Putnam County, which accounts for about 15 percent of the districts voters but accounted for 33 percent in the poll. The survey undersampled Dutchess County and to a lesser degree Westchester County.Halls campaign cried foul because it is uncommon for campaigns to release polls that arent a reflection of the entire district. The Ball campaign has intentionally misled people with a poll that is not districtwide, Hall campaign pollster Jef Pollock of Global Strategy Group said in an e-mail. In all my years of polling, I cant recall an incident where a person did a poll in only of PART of the district and attempted to call it valid.Pollock also hypothesized that perhaps the reason the poll did not cover the entire Congressional district is because the questions related to the 19th district were added to a poll being conducted for another campaign, such as a state Senate candidates. I would hope that all [Federal Election Commission] laws were adhered to and this wasnt an in kind contribution from a state poll, he said. Todd Vitale of Vitale & Associates, the firm that conducted the poll, said the Ball campaign commissioned it but chose to focus only on what he deemed the most historically competitive areas of the district out of a desire to conserve resources at this stage of the campaign.As the campaign progresses, well do a more traditional poll, he said.Jim Coleman, a spokesman for Balls campaign, also defended the poll We wanted to see where we stood and we specifically wanted to see how close the race was on the eastern side of the Hudson, because we consider that to be the toughest area, Coleman said in an e-mail. That said, these are just the early results of our first wave of polling, we should have more in depth analysis next week, and we are extremely encouraged.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.