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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Senate Going Down to the Wire

- If the latest Siena College polls are any indication, the race for majority control of the NY Senate is likely to be determined by a head bob at the wire either way. You can see the poll results in this pdf document.

The best news for the Democrats comes on two fronts - an apparent turnaround in SD-58 in and around Buffalo, where incumbent Democrat William Stachowski has reversed an earlier 13 point deficit into a four point lead. Within the 4.9 point margin of error as it is, the race can now be considered a toss-up. Better yet for the Dems is SD-3 on Long Island, where their challenger Dennis Delano Brian Foley is shown with a big lead over the 36-year incumbent Senator Caesar Trunzo. “With just two days until voters go to the polls, Democrat Brian Foley has reversed a six-point deficit and opened a wide 22-point lead over Sen. Caesar Trunzo in Suffolk County,” said a spokesperson for the Siena poll.

Let's just suppose that Stachowski's momentum will carry him through; Foley would then give the Democrats a tie. In that case, they would then need one more pickup to gain clear control, and will look to two close races from which to get it. However, the poll shows Republican Michael Ranzenhofer with a five point lead over Democrat Joe Mesi in SD-61, also in and around Buffalo. That's just outside the margin of error, and a turnaround from the earlier poll in which Mesi led by two.

That would leave the race in SD-15 here in Queens between longtime incumbent Serph Maltese and Democratic challenger Joe Addabbo, Jr as the potential decider. The latter was rated with a slim 45 to 43 lead, a slight improvement for Addabbo from a dead heat in the prior poll; and the Democrats have to be encouraged by a 57-32 lead in the district for Senator Obama. But Maltese has survived before in a district in which Democrats have a distinct enrollment edge; and this race, well within the margin of error, is a tossup.

The fate of the Senate could very well come down to this, and it's funny how some of the major recent events in the course of Albany politics have revolved around our favorite sport. The federal investigation of former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno was based in part around his ties to Empire Racing co-founder Jared Abbruzzese, as well as a business deal involving broodmares. Whether the investigation contributed to Bruno's decision to retire is unknown; and we've been told that there was no deal with prosecutors for them to call off the dogs should he call it quits. But it's certainly fair to speculate that the long-running probe played a part in his retirement. And it's sure been quiet on that front since he stepped down.

On the day that NYRA's franchise deal was finally approved by the legislature, former Governor Spitzer was busy arranging the Washington DC tryst that led to his quick fall. The selection of Delaware North to operate the Aqueduct racino just happened to involve the local districts of the track and the operator (Delaware North is located in Buffalo), both of which have critical Senate races.

And now the fate of the Senate could come down to that one district which includes Ozone Park. The 15th Senate District is actually just a few blocks from where I live; the Addabbo signs were ubiquitous the moment I turned onto Woodhaven Blvd to head to Aqueduct yesterday. Didn't see any Maltese signs, so Addabbo had the advantage there. Who will have the advantage in the Senate come Wednesday is far less clear.


Anonymous said...

I met Serf Maltese when he ran for Congress. He joked that we both had difficult first names; I replied "Pain builds character". He always spoke to me from his heart. I met some of my closest friends then because it was an underdog race. Whenever I met someone who disliked Serf, they were obscure why, but eventually revealed the source of their displeasure were his commitment to principle, friendship or his word. Indeed, Serf's loyalty is both his greatest asset and his greatest liability. Liability in terms of the enemies it gains him. Those who trust Serf, even beyond party lines, are the greatest resource his constitutents can have. I don't believe they would be foolish enough to lose such representation.

Anonymous said...

Desperate and nowhere else to go means you vote for Obama. He has no plan for America, just governmental domination of your mind, body and soul.