Bishop Ahead, Independent Siena Poll Says

    In the First Congressional District rematch, Representive Tim Bishop has 52 percent of the likely vote, a 13-point edge over Randy Altschuler, his Republican opponent, according to a Siena Research Institute press release issued last Thursday.
    In 2010, Mr. Bishop won by a margin of 593 votes, and the Siena poll taken three weeks before that year’s election had Mr. Bishop with a double-digit lead over Mr. Altschuler.
    “I fully stand by the 2010 Siena poll,” said Steven Greenberg, a Siena College pollster and public relations consultant, who wrote the poll press release. “It was accurate at the time, just as this year’s poll is accurate in the period it was conducted.”
    “Voters suffer from amnesia,” he said, explaining that early polls tend to favor incumbents. “Most voters don’t keep up with politics when an election isn’t coming up.” Mr. Greenberg said a lot can change between now and Election Day, as voters will see a barrage of ads and attacks that may influence their choice. “Voters educate themselves up until they submit their ballots,” he said.
    Mr. Greenberg called Altschuler campaign accusations that Siena polls are liberal-leaning, “silliness,” and he explained that New York is two-to-one Democratic, “so obviously Democrats will win most elections.”
    The current poll was taken on Sept. 5 through 10 via phone calls to 624 likely voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent. It is the first independent polling for this district. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats said they support the congressman while 67 percent of Republicans back Mr. Altschuler. Ten percent of unaffiliated voters are undecided.
    The two candidates will appear together on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Riverhead for a meet-the-candidates gathering hosted by various civic organizations. They will meet voters again on Monday at the Hampton Bays Senior Center at 7 p.m.
    Team Bishop is on the offensive, reacting to a Tuesday Wall Street Journal article, “Presidential Race Mirrors L.I. Election,” which reported Mr. Altschuler’s outsourcing company, OfficeTiger, was incorporated in the Netherlands while he was C.E.O. in the early 2000s. “It should come as no surprise that a guy who made millions outsourcing American jobs also outsourced his own company to a tax haven,” Robert Pierce, the Bishop campaign’s communications director, said in a press release.
    “That’s the same campaign he ran two years ago,” Diana Weir, a spokeswoman for the Altschuler campaign said. “What they won’t tell you is that Randy has since founded a new company, which President Obama praised last year.” The new company, CloudBlue, is an electronics recycling firm that “created 400 American jobs.”
    The Siena poll reported 51 percent of likely voters think Mr. Bishop would best represent their community’s interests on the most important issue of jobs, compared to 35 percent for Altschuler.
    “This poll speaks for itself,” Mr. Pierce said in an e-mail. “We’re fewer than seven weeks away from Election Day, and we’ll continue to work hard through Election Day.”
    “Altschuler’s extreme Tea Party allies, fellow outsourcing pioneers, and their shadowy Super PACs have already poured a million dollars into this race in outside spending, and that is surely just the beginning,” Mr. Pierce wrote. “Make no mistake, this will be a close race.”
    “We have the endorsement of Republicans, Conservatives, and Independents this time around,” said Ms. Weir, who noted that around 7,000 voters registered with the Independence Party cast ballots for Mr. Bishop in 2010. “We have the momentum, now.”
    “More Democrats show up in presidential elections,” Mr. Greenberg said, reiterating Mr. Pierce’s statement. “With swing voters making up nearly 30 percent of the electorate, this could be anybody’s race.”
    The Siena poll’s favorability ratings reveal a statistical tie between President Obama and Mitt Romney at 49 and 46 percent. Most voters side with the president on taxing the wealthy and women’s reproductive health, but by a margin of 49 to 44, they would like to see Obamacare repealed.
    Siena plans to conduct a subsequent poll closer to Election Day.