The first poll in the race to replace Anthony Weiner in Congress revealed a near neck-and-neck fight between Democrat David Weprin and Republican Bob Turner.
According to Siena, Weprin has a 48-42 lead over Turner despite the fact that there are more than three times as many Democrats as Republicans in the district.
According to the poll, Weprin holds a two-to-one advantage over Turner with Democrats, but Turner has a nearly six-to-one lead among Republicans and a slim four-point lead with independent voters. Queens voters favor Weprin by 10 points, while Brooklyn voters support Turner by a six-point margin. Brooklyn voters make up about one-third of the district.
The Siena numbers also showed
- Men split their vote evenly, but women give Weprin an 11-point advantage.
- Voters under 55-years-of-age give Weprin a big lead, voters 55 and older are virtually evenly divided.
- Catholic voters give a big edge to Turner, while Jewish voters give an equally big edge to Weprin.
- Turner voters appear to be more committed to their candidate, with 60 percent saying they are absolutely certain to support him. Only 47 percent of Weprin voters say there is no chance they will change their mind.
- Turner and Weprin have virtually identical favorability ratings, with nearly half of likely voters not knowing enough about either candidate to have an opinion.
- By a 2-1 margin, voters in the district want a representative who voted in favor of lifting the federal debt ceiling earlier this month
- Voters there are divided on the health care bill signed into law last year
Says Sienna College pollster Steven Greenberg:
Five weeks until Election Day, and this special election is a wide open race with both candidates trying to become more known to the voters of the district and earn their support. With a low turnout expected and limited media exposure in the nation’s most expensive media market, the test of both campaigns will be to mount strong voter identification efforts and effective get-out-the vote operations. The campaign that does a better job on those crucial campaign tasks will likely produce a victory for their candidate.
In a district with far more Democrats than Republicans, Turner is garnering the support of nearly one-third of Democrats. He will have to do at least that well on Election Day to have a chance to win, while Weprin will need to bring Democrats ‘back home’ if he wants to crack the 50 percent mark. This figures to be an interesting five weeks, so stay tuned. Siena will take another look as Election Day nears.
The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
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