by Craig Dimitri
DemocratsÂ have a shotÂ to blast out of Congress, one of the most entrenched GOPÂ incumbents in the nation – nine-term Rep. Jim Walsh, in Central New York.Â In 2002, he won re-election with 72% of the vote.Â And he improved upon those numbers in 2004.Â Â Walsh defeated his hapless Democratic challenger in 2004, 91%-9%.Â But even with such enormous past popularity, it appears hisÂ 18-yearÂ stay in DCÂ might beÂ over.Â Dan Maffei (D) leads him by nine percentage points, in a recent independent poll by MajorityWatch.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 24-26, among 1,020 likely voters, with a margin of error of 3.06%.Â It shows Maffei with a 53%-44% lead, with only 3% undecided.Â Moreover,Â it appears that MaffeiÂ has actually increased his lead since mid-October,Â as measured by an earlier MajorityWatch poll, taken Oct. 15-16.Â In that previous poll, Maffei led 51%-43%, with 7% undecided.Â Clearly, the undecideds have broken for Maffei, previously an aide to former Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D., N.Y) and Bill Bradley (D., N.J.)
This is a district where it appears that the unpopularity of President George W. Bush may be an important factor in the outcome.Â Bush’s popularityÂ in the NY-25th CD is even lower than the national average: only 29% of the voters approve of his performance.Â He narrowly lost this district to John F. Kerry in 2004, 50%-48%.
Walsh and Maffei are in a statistical tie in the western half of the district, which contains four upstate counties.Â But Maffei hasÂ a commanding double-digitÂ lead in theÂ eastern half, which contains Syracuse.Â
WalshÂ official campaign site – http://www.jimwalshforcongress2006.com/
Maffei official campaign site – http://www.maffeiforcongress.com/
MajorityWatch poll – http://www.majoritywatch.com/
Questions?Â Comments?Â Information?Â You can contact Craig Dimitri at firstname.lastname@example.org.Â