Iona College Poll Shows Bob Cohen Closing on Suzi Oppenheimer for State Senate

Written By: Robert Cox

Decision 2010 Tracking Poll Shows Bob Cohen Gaining on Suzi Oppenheimer

Slight Majority of Voters Also Trust Cohen More To Fix the State’s Economy

State Senate Race 37.jpgWHITE PLAINS, NY (October 28, 2010) A second poll of the race for New York State’s 37th Senate District between incumbent Suzi Oppenheimer (D) (WF) and challenger Bob Cohen (R) (C) (I) just got more interesting with Cohen closing Oppenheimer’s lead from 10 to 6 percentage points, a net gain of 4 points, since the last poll conducted on October 13, 2010, according to a RNN-TV/Westchester County Association (WCA) Decision 2010 poll conducted by Iona College.

When asked whom they would vote for in the election, 48% said Oppenheimer, 42% said Cohen and 10% remain undecided. This compares to the previous Decision 2010 poll showing 47% for Oppenheimer, 37% for Cohen, and 16% undecided.

“Given the margin of error (plus or minus 4%) and the seeming trend of previously undecided voters moving towards Cohen we may wind up with a closer race than first expected,” said Jeanne Zaino, coordinator of the Iona College poll and a professor of political science. She added: “But, there is still a large unmoved block of undecided voters with less than a week before the election.”

The poll was commissioned by RNN-TV in cooperation with the WCA Call to Action Campaign’s Decision 2010. The poll included over 10,000 calls to registered voters on October 27, 2010.

The 37th Senate District is regarded as one of the key mid-term races in determining the future balance of the NY State Senate. The district includes New Rochelle, Rye, White Plains, Harrison, Mamaroneck, New Castle, North Castle, Ossining and Scarsdale Voters in this second poll were also asked which candidate they trusted more to help turn around the nation’s economy.

The results:
Suzi Oppenheimer 41%
Bob Cohen 43%
Undecided 15%

“We know voter opinion in this election year is heavily influenced by pocketbook issues and Tea Party influence, and voters in this district are currently favoring the Republican challenger Cohen by a slight majority,” Zaino commented.

In addition to candidate preferences, the respondents in the most recent poll were also asked:

Please tell us whether you have a favorable or unfavorable view of each candidate.

Suzi Oppenheimer

Favorable view 48%
Unfavorable view 40%
Undecided 12%

Bob Cohen
Favorable view 45 %
Unfavorable view 31%
Undecided 24%

Zaino noted, “Compared to the previous poll we see former undecideds move in a more unfavorable view direction for Oppenheimer while Cohen is gaining more favorable views with this group.”

Respondents were further asked:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The New York State government has become so ineffective it is time to vote all current officials out of office and elect new people to serve.

Agree 49%
Disagree 39%
Not Sure 11%

“This poll result shows voters in this district still express an anti-incumbent sentiment, although those who disagree have gained some ground since the previous poll,” Zaino added.

Also, 15% of registered voters polled indicated that had watched the WCA Decision 2010 debate between Hall and Hayworth aired on Regional News Network RNN-TV on October 20, 2010.

Other notable highlights of this poll include:

•Non-party voters, which account for about 24% of voter registrations in the district, prefer Cohen at 52% to Oppenheimer at 39%. Moreover, this group of voters have a high unfavorable view (49%) of Oppenheimer, are more likely to agree to vote all legislatures out of Albany (57%), and 53% believe that Cohen would do a better job handling the state’s economy. 42% of undecided voters agree that all NYS elected officials should be voted out of office.

• For more information, visit