New York: Democratic Poll Shows 10-Point Kryzan Lead

Posted September 23, 2008 at 6:32pm

Fresh off her upset win in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, attorney Alice Kryzan (D) is leading businessman Chris Lee (R) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Tom Reynolds (R) — at least according to a new poll taken for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List.

In the poll of 400 likely voters, conducted Sept. 15-17 by Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies, Kryzan had 39 percent of the vote and Lee had 29 percent. A full 32 percent of those surveyed said they favored another candidate or were uncommitted. The poll had a 4.9-point margin of error.

“Clearly, voters are not buying Lee as an agent of change,” pollster Cornell Belcher wrote in a memo.

Republicans are sure to cry foul when they see the poll results. The Western New York district has more enrolled Republicans than Democrats — as of March 1, there were 178,000 Republicans and 141,000 Democrats, while 121,000 voters were registered with minor parties or unaffiliated.

Yet the pollsters, while acknowledging that the district has more enrolled Republicans than Democrats, said 33 percent of the voters surveyed identified themselves as Democrats, compared with 32 percent Republicans and 25 percent independents.

Despite the district’s leanings, Democrats have been bullish about their chances of winning Reynolds’ seat. But the DCCC backed a candidate other than Kryzan — Iraq War veteran Jon Powers, who remains on the general election ballot as the nominee of the Working Families Party — and Democrats have been scrambling to shore her up since her primary win. Through Aug. 20, Lee, who is personally wealthy, was sitting on $751,000 in his campaign account, while Kryzan had just $95,000.

The DCCC began airing an ad in the district over the weekend accusing Lee of sending some of his company’s business to China. Ironically, in a clerical error in its Federal Election Commission filing for the independent expenditure, the DCCC said it was placing the ad on behalf of Powers.

Giuliani Headlining Event for Bishop Foe

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani remains a top draw on the GOP fundraising circuit throughout the country, but he has not forgotten the folks back home. On Saturday, he’ll headline a fundraiser for Lee Zeldin (R), the attorney and Iraq War veteran who is waging an uphill campaign against Rep. Tim Bishop (D).

Giuliani is appearing at a $250-a-ticket “fall campaign kickoff” for Zeldin in Southampton. It costs $1,000 to get a photo taken with “America’s mayor.”

“I’m thrilled to welcome a living legend to the district,” said Zeldin, who compared himself to Giuliani because each has worked as a federal prosecutor. “I will be glad to include Mayor Giuliani as one of my trusted advisers after we win in November and have the opportunity to serve in Congress.