There was plenty of reaction this morning to three Siena polls showing Republicans leading in the key Senate races in advance of the Nov. 4 elections.
Republicans said the polls show they are in command to take control of the chamber in January, after sharing control with a group of Democrats the past two years.
“The takeaway from three new Siena College State Senate polls is that three first-term, Upstate Democrat incumbents are in serious jeopardy of losing their seats,” Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said in a statement. “This is shaping up to be an extraordinary year for Senate Republicans and we are going to win a clear majority. Every objective measure, including the five Siena College polls released to date, continues to overwhelmingly bear that out.”
Republican Rich Funke had a 25 percentage-point lead, 57-32 percent, over Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County. Republican Sue Serino led Democratic Sen. Terry Gipson, D-Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, 52 percent to 40 percent. Republican George Amedore led Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, Schenectady County, by 10 percentage points.
O’Brien, a former county legislator and party chairman, downplayed the poll.
“These very early numbers are not surprising considering Rich Funke’s 40 years as a local celebrity and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s spent lying about Ted O’Brien while he’s had the playing field all to himself,” O’Brien spokeswoman Jamie Romeo said in a statement.
Gipson spokesman Jonathan Heppner accused Serino of spreading “negative misinformation” about the senator.
“For months downstate interests have been flooding our district with negative misinformation because Sue Serino has no record to run on,” Heppner said in a statement.
Serino dismissed Gipson’s complaints.
“This news is humbling and gratifying,” Serino said in a statement. “I have worked hard to reach every corner of my district to listen to people’s thoughts, concerns, hopes and aspirations, and the outpouring of support has been phenomenal.”
Amedore lost by just 18 votes two years ago to Tkaczyk, but had a 52 percent to 42 percent lead in the poll in a district that stretches across the Albany area and into Ulster County.
“The results of today’s Siena poll echo what I’ve been hearing throughout the 46th Senate district,” Amedore said in a statement. “We are frustrated, and we don’t feel we have a strong voice to stand up and fight for the issues that matter to us.”
Tkaczyk said there’s still a month before Election Day.
“This campaign is just swinging into high gear, and with every debate that’s held, voters learn more about George Amedore’s extremist, anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-environment and anti-consumer positions and voting record,” Tkaczyk spokesman Jim Plastiras said in a statement.