Iona College Launches Polling Center with Surveys on 4 Key Races in Westchester County

Written By: Talk of the Sound News

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (October 4, 2010) – With the recent launch of its new polling capability in four hotly contested Westchester races, Iona College is filling a gap in assessing the opinions and concerns of area voters.

Brian Nickerson, Dean of Iona College’s Arts and Science, said: “The mid-term election, which has the potential to change the balance of political power in Albany and Washington, D.C., is a very exciting time for Iona to begin its academic-based polling service. Such races and regional focus are often overlooked by other polling services, so we are pleased to address what we believe is an unacceptable gap for an area with such political and economic influence.”

Last week, Iona’s new Polling Center conducted its first Decision 2010 poll for RNN-TV and the Westchester County Association’s (WCA) Call to Action Campaign for the 35th Senate District race between incumbent Democrat Andrea Stuart-Cousins and Republican challenger Liam McLaughlin. The poll results showed the race could be tight and that there is a large undecided voter block and strong anti-incumbent sentiment.

Nickerson noted: “Based on the ‘buzz’ resulting from this Iona poll, we expect these polls to become a more important part of the public dialogue as we enter the final weeks of campaigning.

Voters in the 35th Senate District were polled by Iona on September 21 and again on September 26 before the WCA’s debate held on September 28 which was carried live over RNN-TV. Iona College made over 10,000 calls to registered voter phone numbers during the hours of 6 PM to 9 PM and completed as many as 735 surveys.

The same methodology will be used in the polling that Iona will conduct for 3 other Call to Action RNN and WCA Call to Action Campaign debates including NY State Senate District 40 (Greg Ball versus Mike Kaplowitz); NY State Senate District 37 (Suzi Oppenheimer versus Bob Cohen) and U.S. Congressional District 19 (John Hall versus Nan Hayworth). For debate schedule, visit

Nickerson noted the significance of the three Westchester delegation Senate seats: “When you consider that Democrats currently maintain a slim majority in the state Senate, voters in these Westchester races could well become the state’s political ‘game changers.’

Iona also plans to expand its polling capability for New York Governor and the U.S. Senate races, details to be announced later. “Iona is seriously committed to fostering the democratic process by capturing the voices of regional and state-wide voters in election races in the years ahead,” Nickerson stated

Founded in 1940 by the Congregation of Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, Iona College is a private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of American Catholic higher education. Iona – currently listed in the top tier of US News and World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges 2011”; The Princeton Review’s Best Northeastern Colleges 2011 edition and Business Week’s Top 25 Undergraduate Business Schools in the Northeast – offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and master of business administration degrees and numerous post-graduate certificate programs.
The poll results show a tight race with Stuart-Cousins leading McLaughlin by 44% to 37%, as well as a large undecided voting block of 19% and strong anti-incumbent sentiment. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.