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Public Opinion Strategies recently conducted a district-wide survey of 400 likely special election
voters on behalf of the Tedisco for Congress campaign. The poll was conducted February 3-4,
2009 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9% in 95 out of 100 cases. The purpose of this memo is
to review some of the key findings of that poll.

Key Findings

Τ Jim Tedisco has deep roots in the district.

Jim Tedisco’s personal image rating reflects his long history of representing the region’s
interest in the State Assembly. Fifty-one percent (51%) of 20th District voters hold a
favorable impression of Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, compared to just 13% holding an
unfavorable impression. In the Albany media market (76% of the district), Tedisco’s
image is 61% favorable – 14% unfavorable – including a 48% favorable rating among
Democrats in the market.

Τ Conversely Scott Murphy is a blank slate.

While Jim Tedisco is well-known and well-liked in the district, newcomer Scott Murphy
carries very little name identification into this short campaign. Just 17% of voters have
formed an opinion of Murphy, 12% favorable – 5% unfavorable.

Τ The ballot test shows a strong Tedisco advantage.

Tedisco’s image advantage propels him into a wide double-digit lead on the head-to-head
ballot test, 50%-29%. Aside from Democrats and liberals, Tedisco leads across every sub-
group in the poll. Tedisco more than doubles Murphy (53%-25%) among Independents or
non-enrolled voters – a constituency that must be won by a Democratic nominee in this
heavily Republican district.

He currently beats Murphy in each major geographic region – Saratoga County (55%-
29%), North Country (52%-30%) and the Hudson Valley portion of seat (45%-30%).

Τ The Republican base is rallying around Tedisco.

With a fourteen-point enrollment disadvantage (41% GOP – 27% Dem), a Democratic
nominee must bank on a fractured Republican base to be successful in the 20th
Congressional District.

The strength of Tedisco’s personal image among Republicans greatly reduces the
probability of massive partisan defection. Fully 65% of Republicans hold a favorable
impression of Tedisco, with just 7% viewing him unfavorably. Among Republicans in the
Albany market, Tedisco’s image is 75%-8%, with 40% holding a “very favorable”

While some have stated that Murphy will benefit from the fact that President Obama
carried this seat in the 2008 election with significant Republican support, the data indicates
Democrats cannot count on President Obama to help them with Republicans in this seat.
Among the Republicans who voted for Obama over John McCain (12% of the district);
Tedisco holds a 58%-11% image.

Bottom Line
Special elections are always difficult, and we can expect this race to tighten as the Democrats
leverage their financial advantage. While Scott Murphy is unknown to district voters, his personal
wealth and fundraising ability – he has already raised over $600,000 – provide him with the
financial resources to make this race competitive.

That being said, Jim Tedisco’s deep roots in the district and his proven track record of advocacy
for upstate New York establishes him as the clear front-runner in this campaign. Tedisco is very
popular with district voters across party lines. He owns a solid geographic base in the district’s
largest county (and key swing area). Moreover, Tedisco unites the partisan base – making it
difficult for the Democrats to win in this heavily Republican district.

There is no question that Tedisco’s head start in this short campaign will force Murphy and his
Democratic allies to launch an aggressive negative attack against the Republican nominee. With
the financial resources to respond to the Democrats’ attack machine, Tedisco will be well-
positioned to recapture the 20th District.