Poll: Aubertine/Ritchie Race a Dead Heat

Darrel Aubertine may be in the race of his political career as the Democrat seeks to keep representing a district in the State Senate that has more Republicans than Democrats.

A new poll from Siena College’s Polling Institute (read the full poll here) finds Aubertine in a statistical dead heat with Republican challenger Patty Ritchie.

Ritchie holds a 48% to 45% lead in the poll, which has a fairly high margin of error near 5%. The poll finds:

Aubertine does better with Democrats than Ritchie does with Republicans, but Ritchie beats Aubertine by a 201 margin with independent voters;

By small margins, men prefer Ritchie and women prefer Aubertine;

Ritchie holds a 58% to 39% lead over Aubertine in her home county, St. Lawrence County, while Aubertine holds the same margin in his home county, Jefferson County;

Ritchie leads by 12 points, 51% to 39% in Oswego County;

Aubertine is viewed favorably by 54% of voters, but only 45% want to reelect him.

“Despite the fact that he is well liked by the voters, the voters are saying, ‘we like you, but we need a change in Albany’,” said Steve Greenberg, Siena College’s pollster. But, he said, “that doesn’t mean that voters are locked in to their decisions.”

Even so, Greenberg noted that the number of undecided voters is unusually small — only about 7%.

“This is a very strange year for voters,” he said.

The candidates issued statements on the poll results.

Patty Ritchie:

Today’s Siena College poll, showing me with a small lead over an eight–year Albany insider is heartening to every New Yorker eager for change and a new direction for our state.

Everyday New Yorkers know that the Albany politicians’ solution of higher spending, more taxes, and gimmicks like new license plates we didn’t need, hasn’t worked. Instead of solving our problems, they have given us record unemployment, debt, spending and taxes. New Yorkers can’t afford another two years of that, and they want a State Senator who puts taxpayers first.

I’ve traveled more than 24,000 miles, knocked on nearly 6,000 doors, and met countless voters who all agree that New York has gone off the rails. They like my ideas to cut taxes and spending, and my willingness to stand up for them.

Today’s poll results make me want to work even harder for the chance to represent the forgotten Upstaters, restore their faith in government and, most importantly, get New Yorkers working again.

And Darrel Aubertine:

Regardless of any poll, we will continue to point out that Senator Aubertine has been part of the solution, protecting jobs and fighting to reform Albany. Right now, Patty Ritchie has avoided any public statements and nobody knows a thing about her, other than she has aligned herself with Carl Paladino, attacks Darrel, and flip-flops. Her record does not stand up to the jobs-saving accomplishments of Darrel Aubertine.