If you’re trying to get a read on the statewide elections from the polls, good luck.
The polls are offering a wide variety of results on statewide races in New York.
A Siena College poll today showed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo with a sizeable 57 percent to 24 percent lead over Republican Carl Paladino, showing little change compared to Siena’s other recent polls.
That’s in sharp contrast to a Quinnipiac University poll on Wednesday that showed an extraordinarily tight race between Cuomo and Paladino, with Cuomo holding a 49 percent to 43 percent.
The Quinnipiac poll was more in line with a Survey USA poll on Wednesday that showed Cuomo holding a 49 percent to 40 percent lead. That poll was conducted for Gannett, including WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, and the Journal News in Westchester County.
But the discrepancy in the polls doesn’t stop there. A Rasmussen poll on Monday showed Cuomo with a 16-percentage-point lead, 54 percent to 38 percent.
And the polling isn’t done: Marist College will weigh in with a poll on Friday.
“Some of them are going to be right,” quipped John McLaughlin, a Republican pollster based in Rockland County, who is polling for GOP comptroller candidate Harry Wilson.
The methodology has varied in the polls. For example, the Siena poll quizzed registered voters, while Quinnipiac asked likely voters and didn’t include Conservative Party gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio in its survey. In the Siena poll, Lazio received eight percent of the vote.
Rasmussen and Survey USA use automated interviews to get their results, and in the Survey USA poll they interviewed 572 likely voters on Election Day, Nov. 2. Survey USA’s poll had a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.
Quinnipiac and Siena use computerized calling lists, but then have interviewers question the respondents.
“Today’s Siena poll has questionable results; the wild swing between Quinnipiac saying Carl is down six or Siena’s 33 is certainly suspicious. Quinnipiac only polled likely voters while Siena instead talked to anyone with a voter card,” Michael Caputo, Paladino’s campaign manager, said.
In the U.S. Senate race between Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Joseph DioGuardi, Siena today showed Gillibrand with a commanding lead, 57 percent to 31 percent.
Yet the Survey USA poll showed a dead heat between the two, while Quinnipiac today showed Gillibrand up six percentage points, 48 percent to 42 percent. Rasmussen showed Gillibrand with a 10 percentage-point lead.
The Siena poll showed Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli leading Republican Harry Wilson 51 percent to 25 percent.
“Despite having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Tom DiNapoli, today’s Quinnipiac and Siena polls show that voters aren’t buying what Wall Street Harry Wilson is selling,” said DiNapoli spokesman Eric Sumberg.
The Quinnipiac poll showed a dead heat in the attorney general race between Democratic Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Republican Daniel Donovan. Siena had Schneiderman up 45 percent to 32 percent.