by Craig Dimitri

Democrats have a shot to blast out of Congress, one of the most entrenched GOP incumbents in the nation – nine-term Rep. Jim Walsh, in Central New York.  In 2002, he won re-election with 72% of the vote.  And he improved upon those numbers in 2004.   Walsh defeated his hapless Democratic challenger in 2004, 91%-9%.  But even with such enormous past popularity, it appears his 18-year stay in DC might be over.  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%.  It shows Maffei with a 53%-44% lead, with only 3% undecided.  Moreover, it appears that Maffei has actually increased his lead since mid-October, as measured by an earlier MajorityWatch poll, taken Oct. 15-16.  In that previous poll, Maffei led 51%-43%, with 7% undecided.  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.  Bush’s popularity in the NY-25th CD is even lower than the national average: only 29% of the voters approve of his performance.  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.  But Maffei has a commanding double-digit lead in the eastern half, which contains Syracuse. 

Walsh official campaign site –

Maffei official campaign site –

MajorityWatch poll –

Questions?  Comments?  Information?  You can contact Craig Dimitri at 

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