U.S. House Races

New York is a being viewed nationally as a focus for the battle over control of Congress. As the election seasons enters its final five weeks, the two major parties and their allies are deploying ground troops and pumping millions of dollars into more than a half-dozen competitive districts.

While it is likely that the GOP will retain control of the House of Representatives, some independent projections predict that Democrats will win the 25 seats they need to reclaim the majority.  In order to do so, Democrats will have to pick up three or four seats in New York.

The most competitive House races in our region are:

  • Congressional District 18 (Hudson Valley) – freshman Republican Nan Hayworth, who defeated an incumbent in 2010 with string Tea Party support, faces Sean Patrick Maloney (D), a former aide to President Clinton and Governor Spitzer;
  • CD 19 (Hudson Valley) – freshman Chris Gibson (R), a moderate, faces Julian Schreibman (D), a former federal prosecutor;
  • CD 21 (North Country) – Bill Owens (D), who won the seat in a 2009 special election, faces Matthew Doheny (R).  Owens defeated Doheny and a conservative candidate in 2010.
  • CD 25 (Rochester area) – long-time incumbent Louise Slaughter (D) must defend a drastically redrawn district against popular Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks (R);
  • CD 24 (Syracuse area) – freshman Ann Marie Buerkle (R) faces Dan Maffei (D), who previously held the seat and was defeated by Ms. Buerkle in 2010; and
  • CD 27 (Western New York) – first-term incumbent Kathy Hochul (D), who won the seat in a special election, faces former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R).

Battle for Control of the State Senate

The Siena Research Institute released two polls this week, focusing on key Senate races in Westchester and the Rochester area.

In Westchester’s 37th Senate District, Siena has Democratic Assemblyman George Latimer with a slim lead over Republican Bob Cohen for this open seat.  In 2010, Cohen came within 730 votes of ousting Democratic Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, who is not seeking re-election.

According to Siena, Latimer leads Cohen 44-41 among likely voters with 15 percent undecided.  President Obama and Mitt Romney are running about dead even – 47-48 – in the district at the moment.

In the 55th Senate District in the Rochester area, Republican Assemblyman Sean Hanna leads Ted O’Brien, the Democratic Minority Leader of the Monroe County Legislature, by eight points in the race to succeed retiring GOP Senator Jim Alesi.

Siena shows Hanna with a 47 percent to 39 percent lead over O’Brien.  President Obama has a 53 percent to 39 percent lead over Republican Mitt Romney in the district, according to the poll.