New polls released Monday showed three Republican challengers leading Democratic incumbents in races that will help determine majority party control of New York’s 63-seat Senate.
The Siena College polls of likely voters showed Dutchess County Legislator Susan Serino leading Sen. Terry Gipson 52 to 40 percent in the mid-Hudson Valley. In the Rochester area, retired broadcaster Rich Funke led Sen. Ted O’Brien 57 to 32 percent. In a district spanning part of the upper Hudson and Mohawk valleys, George Amedore led Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk 52 to 42 percent. Amedore, a former assemblyman, lost to Tkaczyk two years ago by 18 votes.
“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,” said Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos. He said this is shaping up to be a year in which the GOP again has a clear majority.
The Republicans and a breakaway faction of Democrats have been controlling the Senate in a majority coalition. However, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference has pledged to instead align with the mainstream Democrats next year. That had appeared to have the Democrats poised for control of the Senate, as well as continuing their hold on the Assembly and governor’s office, unless the Republicans pick up two seats.
Senate Democrats questioned Siena’s numbers, blaming it on the “millions” poured by Republicans into “spreading their misleading attacks and distortions.”