Okay, so it appears I'm not as up to date on the news as I thought. I completely missed this in Roll Call last week:
The campaign of Dan Maffei, a former Democratic aide on the Ways and Means Committee who is challenging Rep. Jim Walsh (R), has just completed a poll that showed encouraging results for the novice candidate.
The poll of 401 likely voters in the Syracuse-area 25th district was conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group on March 9, 11 and 12. It found that only 42 percent of those surveyed would definitely vote to re-elect the nine-term Congressman.
The polling memo did not list initial head-to-head numbers between Walsh and Maffei, a former local TV reporter who is not yet very well known. But when the profiles of the two candidates were read - including positive descriptions of Walsh's position and influence on Capitol Hill and his support from leading business organizations - the Congressman was preferred by 44 percent of those surveyed, Maffei by 37 percent.
Maffei took the lead, according to the memo, after poll respondents were given "reasons why Maffei would be a better Representative." The poll's error margin was 4.9 percent.
Equally encouraging to Maffei, the standing of the two Democrats likely to be at the top of the New York ticket in 2006 were quite high. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) had a 58 percent favorable rating in the 25th district, and state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D), the odds-on favorite in the gubernatorial race, had 61 percent favorability.
President Bush, by contrast, had a 65 percent negative rating."Walsh is vulnerable to a challenge," pollster Pete Brodnitz wrote.
Anyways, the actual polling memo fell into my hands the other day, but I was trying to flush out any more info before I ran with it. The memo doesn't really include any info not in the article, so you aren't missing anything.