Democrat Ted O’Brien erased an eight-percentage-point deficit last month against Republican Sean Hanna and took an 11-percentage-point lead for a state Senate seat in Monroe County, a Siena College poll today found.
In another closely watched race, Republican George Amedore held a narrow 47 percent to 44 percent lead over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk in a newly drawn Senate district that stretches from the Albany area into the Hudson Valley, Siena said.
Siena polled a third Senate race, this one in the Albany area. Republican Kathy Marchione had 40 percent of the vote, compared to 29 percent for current Republican Sen. Roy McDonald and 25 percent for Democrat Robin Andrews. McDonald lost a GOP primary to Marchione and is not actively campaigning on the Independence Party line he secured.
O’Brien’s lead against Hanna — a 19-percentage-point swing over the past month — just days before Tuesday’s election was a remarkable turnaround. He held a 50 percent to 39 percent lead.
The race has drawn more than $1 million in spending by Democrats, Republicans and special-interest groups.
The seat is currently held by retiring Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County, and Republicans have spent heavily to try to retain the seat. Hanna is an assemblyman from Mendon, and O’Brien is a county legislator from Irondequoit.
Republicans hold a 33-29 seat majority in the Senate, and Democrats would need to hold two competitive seats in Westchester County and Queens and pick up an additional three seats to win back a majority they lost in 2010.
By holding the majority this year, Senate Republicans essentially drew a new, 63-seat catered for Amedore, a Republican assemblyman from Rotterdam. Tkaczyk, a school board member, has hit Amedore on women’s rights issues and campaign-finance reform.
Siena had not polled the Amedore-Tkacyzk race nor the Marchione-Andrews race prior to this week.
Because of Superstorm Sandy downstate, Siena was unable to contact additional polls on two tight races that the Albany-area college polled in early October: Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, versus Republican Eric Ulrich, and Republican Bob Cohen versus Assemblyman George Latimer in Westchester County.
The poll on the 46th District race between Amedore and Tkacyzk was conducted October 30-31 to 461 likely voters. It had a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.
The poll on the 55th District race between O’Brien and Hanna was conducted October 30-31 to 476 likely voters. It had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.