Republican Leads Rep. Scott Murphy in New York

Posted October 26, 2010 at 10:03am

Republican Chris Gibson has catapulted ahead of Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy in the race for upstate New York’s 20th district, according to an independent poll released Tuesday.

The survey found Gibson leading Murphy 51 percent to 42 percent, reversing a 17-point deficit from last month, according to the poll by the Siena College Research Institute. The survey showed Gibson drawing strong support from Republicans and leading among independents in the district that includes a number of counties around Albany.

The district is one of several upstate New York districts won by Democrats in the past two cycles that the Republican Party and outside conservative groups have targeted this year. It’s also one that Roll Call recently moved from Leans Democratic to Tossup.

The poll found Murphy’s favorability ratings fell from 56 percent to 45 percent since September while Gibson saw his favorability rating rise to 46 percent from 22 percent.

“The Gibson campaign has certainly been more successful in creating a negative view of Murphy than the Murphy campaign has been in trying to create a negative image of Gibson,” Poll Director Steven Greenberg said.

The poll also found President Barack Obama’s popularity in the district declined. But Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who previously represented the district and is now running for her first full term in the Senate, remained popular with the district’s voters. The survey was conducted Saturday through Monday, with telephone calls to 676 likely voters. The margin of error is 3.8 points.