I-Team 10 Investigation: Breaking down the numbers
Posted at: 09/28/2012 6:25 PM
| Updated at: 09/28/2012 7:02 PM
By: Brett Davidsen | WHEC.com
A Siena Poll of the race for the 25th congressional district shows Louise Slaughter with a substantial 10 point lead over challenger Maggie Brooks. In that poll, 52% said they supported Slaughter and 42% backed Brooks. So what does Brooks have to do to close the gap?
Siena sampled 634 people for that poll and breaking down the numbers I-Team 10 found that, by most regards, the numbers closely mirror the registration figures in Monroe County when it comes to party affiliation, gender and region. What we won’t know until November 6 and which could impact the outcome of the race is will the turnout more closely resemble 2008 or 2004?
With 39 days left to campaign, Republican challenger Maggie Brooks has some ground to make up. The Siena Poll released Thursday has her down to incumbent Democrat Louise Slaughter by ten points. So where is Brooks’s support lagging? Let’s start with her own party. Of the Republicans sampled in the poll, 21% said they would support Slaughter.
Bill Reilich, Monroe County GOP Chairman said, “We knew going into this race that we were the underdog."
I-Team 10 asked the county GOP chairman why hasn’t closed the deal with more of her own party.
Bill Reilich said, “The fact is no one has challenged Louise in many years, and when that happens people will, in our county, certainly, naturally gravitate toward the incumbent. Once they understand the true Louise, those republicans will come back home."
But Brooks will also have to do more to sway women voters. There are more than 40,000 women than men registered to vote in Monroe County. And a closer look at the poll shows Slaughter with a huge lead right now, getting the support of 55% of women versus 38% for Brooks.
Timothy Kneeland said, “I think they trust Louise more on education. So issues that have been framed up in a more feminist perspective do tend to trend toward democrats. I mean there is a divide."
While voter registration gives Slaughter the edge in this race, the outcome could ultimately be decided by how faithful the voters are in getting to the polls. I-Team 10 asked the county board of elections for a break down by voter registration for the last two presidential election years. In 2008, 40% of the votes came from Democrats, 33% from Republicans and 21% from Independents. But in 2004, more Republicans than Democrats came to the polls, 37% compared to 36%. So will 2012 turn out be closer to 2008 or 2004?
Kneeland said, "I think it's more 2004. First of all, you have an incumbent running. You have an incumbent that people already know. So people have made their minds up. In 2008, it was an exciting race."
It was an historic race that drove Democrats to the polls in record numbers. Kneeland says he doesn't anticipate the same level of excitement and says despite the 10 point lead for Slaughter in September; a lot could change in 39 days.
Kneeland said, "This is a democratic county, but Maggie Brooks has won three times, so this is pretty important and significant. Despite what this poll says, the election's not nearly over.”
Slaughter said Thursday she is absolutely not resting on these numbers. She says she appreciates where they are right now, but will continue working hard on her campaign right up through Election Day. Brooks said she has barely begun to get her message out and will be spending a lot on advertising to do so over the next five weeks.