New York: Ball Poll Shows Race With Hall Competitive

Posted November 16, 2009 at 6:12pm

Correction Appended

According to an internal poll done for Republican Greg Ball’s campaign, the New York Assemblyman is within striking distance of sophomore Rep. John Hall (D) — however, the survey was only conducted in a portion of the district.

The poll only covered two-thirds of the district — Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in the east. It excluded Orange County and the portion of Rockland County in the district.

Hall led Ball 48 percent to 43 percent, within the poll’s 5.7-point margin of error. Nine percent of likely New York voters were undecided, according to the Oct. 21-22 poll conducted by Vitale and Associates.

The poll found that Ball outperforms the incumbent among independents, 48 percent to 38 percent, a key indicator in the 19th district, which narrowly voted for President Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential race.

Hall, however, remains popular in the upstate district, with a 57 percent favorable rating compared with just 25 percent unfavorable. Ball has the strongest name ID of the top two declared Republican challengers. Forty percent viewed the state lawmaker and former Air Force captain favorably, 28 percent viewed him unfavorably, and 32 percent had no opinion or had never heard of him. Ball joined the race early on in the year.

Eighty-nine percent of likely voters said they had never heard of Nan Hayworth (R), a prominent ophthalmologist from Westchester County who launched her campaign in October. Eight percent had no opinion of her, underscoring her challenge in building up her visibility in the district. Hayworth has indicated she is willing to spend her own money on the campaign, already ponying up $150,000 in personal contributions.

Both Hayworth and Ball outraised Hall in the third quarter. Vitale and Associates did not poll a general election matchup between Hayworth and Hall.

Correction: Nov. 17, 2009

This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that the poll 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. It excluded Orange County and the portion of Rockland County in the district.