The race between state Sen. Joe Addabbo and City Councilman Eric Ulrich is as tight as any in the state, with just two points separating the candidates in a Siena College poll released Monday.
The poll gave incumbent Democrat Addabbo a two-point edge, 45 percent to Republican Ulrich's 43 percent. The remaining 12 percent of voters polled remained undecided.
"There’s no question that the Democrats are going to have their hands full in trying to hold on to this seat," said pollster Steven Greenberg. "Addabbo and Ulrich are separated by just two points, with one in eight voters still undecided."
Ulrich's campaign was thrilled with the news, given the month remaining until Election Day.
"Joe Addabbo's campaign is a fast-sinking ship and today's Siena poll is further proof of that," said Ulrich spokeswoman Jessica Proud.
"This figures to be a barn burner straight through to Election Day." - pollster Steven Greenberg
The Addabbo campaign fired back quickly.
“We’re not at all surprised by the poll results today. Senator Addabbo’s district was, after all, gerrymandered by the Senate Republicans, who have since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on amateurish, misleading negative mailers against Senator Addabbo," said spokeswoman Jennifer Galvin. "Over the next four weeks Senator Addabbo’s record of results and leadership will come into clear focus for all the voters in Senate District 15, and we will win this campaign.”
The poll also revealed that the economy — specifically job creation — was the number one issue for voters in the district, which covers much of southern Forest Hills. Creating jobs was cited as the most important single issue by 31 percent of those polled.
The poll also indicated a potential problem for Addabbo — possible erodsion of support among his base. While Ulrich is backed by more than three-quarters of Republican voters, just 63 percent of Democrats said they were comfortable backing Addabbo.
“In this district where Democrats have a better than two-to-one enrollment edge — including a sizeable number of conservative Democrats — and independents look a lot more like Republicans than Democrats, we have Addabbo, the incumbent, running virtually even with Ulrich, who now represents about one-third of these voters in the City Council,” Greenberg said in a statement. “While Addabbo is more known than Ulrich to voters, Ulrich has the better favorability rating."
The poll found that currently, voters rate Addabbo higher on job creation, education and health care, the three issues they rated as most important. Still, Greenberg said, Ulrich has a great deal of momentum.
"[T]his figures to be a barn burner straight through to Election Day,” Greenberg added.