Siena Poll on the Erie County Executive Race: Dead Heat

6 Nov

Things I find interesting from the Siena Poll for the County Executive’s race that was released last night, apart from the fact that the race swung from a statistical dead heat of 49/46 for Collins with a MOE of +/- 3.4%, to a genuine dead heat of 48/48 with a MOE of +/- 2.7%.  Undecideds went from 6% to 5% overall.

Low & High Earners: County on Wrong Track.

49% of Erie County Residents think the county is going in the wrong direction. 45% think it’s going in the right direction. Among those making over $100,000 per year, the split is 49/47. Among earners of less than $50,000, the split is 53/42. The only earners who think the county is on the right track more than wrong are those earning $50k – $100k, where the split is 48/47.

Poloncarz Has Higher Favorables and Lower Unfavorables than Collins

Collins’ overall favorable/unfavorable is 51/45. Among those making more than $100,000 per year, Collins is less liked than among those earning less; among people making $100,000, Collins’ favorable/unfavorable is 49/50.  Among earners of less than $50,000, the split is 52/49, and among earners of between $50,000 – $100,000, that range is 53/44.

Poloncarz’ overall favorable/unfavorable is 52/44. Among $100k+, that split is 55/42. Middle earners? 53/41. Less than $50k give Poloncarz a favorable/unfavorable of 52/37.  Compare that to October, when Poloncarz’s overall favorable/unfavorable was 49/27 – the last 3 weeks of lies and negativity from Collins have hurt, but not badly enough that Poloncarz’s favorable went up 3 points. By contrast, Collins’ favorables dropped from 55%, and his unfavorables went up from 41%.

Dead Heat

48/48 as between Poloncarz and Collins. Men prefer Collins, women prefer Poloncarz 49/46. 5% of voters remain undecided.  Interestingly, those making under $50k and those making over $100k prefer Poloncarz – 49/47, and 51/45 respectively. Those earning between $50k and $100k prefer Collins 50/46.

The sample this time reduced people from the city of Buffalo from 25% to 19% of the sample, reflecting what Siena says is the fact that city voters said they were less likely to vote. The largest income bracket sampled is that middle one that prefers Collins, and note that people across the board overwhelmingly think that Collins is going to win, in spite of the fact that the race is a dead heat with Democrats coming home and undecideds breaking more for Poloncarz.


People are locking in their votes, and there’s less room for the candidates to maneuver. Everything now comes down to party apparatus and getting out the vote. This should be interesting, since Poloncarz and the Democrats have entire machines ready to hit the streets on Tuesday, while the Republicans simply won’t have the same amount of boots on the ground.

In 2007, only 291,244 votes were cast in Erie County, and Keane only won the City of Buffalo, where 46,517 votes were cast in total.  16% of the turnout was in the City of Buffalo, where Clark smeared Keane in the African-American press as being a Klansman, or worse.  No such shenanigans will be taking place on Tuesday, where Poloncarz has strong support in the city, and turnout is expected to be higher than in 2007.  Collins and his allies know they’re in trouble because they can’t match the Democrats on turnout, which explains the last-minute push to pin the absentee voter fraud on Poloncarz and turn it into an issue – an effort that’s failed completely.

As far as predictions, I think it will be as close as the SD-60 race between Grisanti and Thompson. In other words, I think that Poloncarz will have a 3-digit edge in the unofficial BOE tally, and it will come down to hand-counts and absentees.

4 Responses to “Siena Poll on the Erie County Executive Race: Dead Heat”

  1. Betty Jean Grant. November 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Alan. as for as the city goes, especialy in the African American community; both Tim Hogues, the 1st District Legislator’s candidate, and I have opponent in our races and we are campaigning hard every day. Councilmember Darius Pridgen and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples have just officially endorsed Mark Poloncarz while Art ‘Champ’ Eve and I just completed a totally successful literature drop of Mark Poloncarz’s election piece to all inner city and Westside churches in Buffalo; I think we will get a bigger turnout than expected from the African American community.While Mayor Brown’s endorsement of Mark Poloncarz at the rally might have been forced and therefore ‘symbolic’, we loyal Democrats are leaving no stones unturned in our quest to elect a true public servant to occupy the 16th floor of the Rath building!

  2. jhorn November 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Betty jean- I hope your prediction proves accurate; think a Poloncarz victory hinges on a healthy city turnout. Should Poloncarz lose in a squeaker both byron brown and len lenihan should be sent to the party’s woodshed.

  3. Betty Jean Grant. November 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    @ Jhorn. Than goodness there is a competitive race in the 1st Legislative District where Miller-Williams (Community First and Independence Party Lines) is fighting for her political life while Joe Mascia (Conservative Party) is waging a decent campaign. Tim Hogues, however is running a fantastic campaign. I believe he will win. Even though I have an opponent who is on the Green Party Line, I am treating this election as if it were a Democratic Primary. All this will help to drive out the votes. Mark and Maria Whyte can do nothing but benefit from it.

  4. wolfpack November 7, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Betty Jean has the sense to see that a Collins who she has seen work his devious factions to the detriment of social service service sees in Poloncarz a guy who cares and will do what he can to shine the light on dirty tricks. Byron held off because he wanted Lenighan to go, but a fight for chairman in the midst of a very iportant race would have been disastrous for democratoc candidates.

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