A poll conducted by a consulting firm that in prior races worked for former 21st Congressional District Republican candidate Matthew A. Doheny says that Mr. Doheny has a significant lead over Elise M. Stefanik among Republican voters.
The Public Opinion Strategies memo, first reported on the website Politico, says that Mr. Doheny leads Ms. Stefanik 49 percent to 13 percent among likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error for that question, asked of 283 Republicans, is 5.8 percent.
Further, Matts high level of support on the ballot among GOP primary voters cuts across strength of partisanship, Tea Party affiliation, and region of the district, the memo announcing the results says.
In numbers that may be troubling to Ms. Stefanik, who has strongly pushed her conservative credentials, among voters who strongly support the ideals of the tea party Mr. Doheny leads 56 percent to 10 percent.
As yet, Mr. Doheny has not announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh. He ran against Mr. Owens unsuccessfully in 2010 and 2012, and said after the second defeat he probably was going to abandon the political arena.
Ms. Stefanik, by contrast, has been seeking the nomination for months, raising in excess of $250,000 along the way and appearing before all 12 of the county Republican Committees in the district, which stretches from northern Saratoga County across the north country, including Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties. She has also courted tea party and Conservative Party leaders.
Ms. Stefanik said her campaign is gaining her name recognition.
As a newcomer to the political process my name might not be familiar, but Im grateful for the recent outpouring of local support from many prominent local elected and civic leaders that have joined our campaign, she wrote in an email Thursday.Im looking forward to participating in tomorrows county endorsement process and running a strong campaign to win this seat.
Jefferson County Republicans have decided not to endorse anyone at this point, instead committing to pass petitions from any Republican candidate.
County party Chairman Donald G.M. Coon III said Thursday he will not attend the meeting of the 12 county GOP leaders set today in Elizabethtown because his committee has no endorsement to present and he was scheduled to be elsewhere. The meeting was pushed back from Wednesday, when Mr. Coon had planned to attend.
He said he had seen the poll results and called them encouraging for Mr. Doheny. At the same time, he said by way of caveat, there are three or four polls out there.
Because Mr. Doheny has not announced any intention to run, Mr. Coon said, the results probably wont have an impact on todays meeting.
Mr. Coon said he did not know who commissioned the Public Opinion Strategies poll. A call to the Virginia company yielded a promise to talk to the Times, but the call was not returned.
A call seeking comment from Mr. Doheny was not returned.