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Pollsters Address Conflicting NY Gov poll Numbers

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – The vast differences between the results of the recent Siena and Quinnipiac Polls of New York's Gubernatorial Race have left voters scratching their heads. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas spoke with two leading pollsters about the discrepancies.

If you're confused by the outcomes of conflicting polls, you're not alone. Experts say that most of the time the average gap between the preferences of registered and likely voters is 5 points. A Rasmussen poll on Monday showed Cuomo with a 16-percentage-point lead, 54 percent to 38 percent over Carl Paladino.

Quinnipiac pollster Mickey Carroll says that when he first saw their numbers, showing Paladino catching within six points of Cuomo, he asked the staff to check them again. Carroll concedes that the large gap between the preferences of registered and likely voters is unusual, but not unprecedented. The Quinnipiac survey also excluded Rick Lazio. Siena's Steve Greenberg says Lazio may decide not to run, but for now, he's a viable candidate.

Think of a voter poll as a "snapshot" - reflecting voter sentiments at the time they were polled - and, whether considering likely or registered voters, not always an accurate predictor of final results, but usually close to being so. And the polling is far from over: Marist College will weigh in on the Governor's Race with a poll on Friday.