Democrat Ted O’Brien has erased an 8-point deficit and leads Republican Sean Hanna by 11 percentage points in the race for the 55th District seat in the state Senate, a Siena Research Institute poll released Friday shows.
O’Brien, a member of the Monroe County Legislature, has the support of 50 percent of those surveyed by SRI. Hanna, R-Mendon and the 130th District representative in the state Assembly, is favored by 39 percent.
Hanna led 47 percent to 39 percent in an Oct. 3 Siena poll.
“While O’Brien is still unknown to more voters than Hanna, he is viewed more favorably than Hanna and Hanna is viewed considerably more unfavorably than O’Brien,” poll spokesman Steven Greenberg said in a statement.
In the same poll of likely 55th District voters, President Barack Obama is favored by 56 percent, with Republican challenger Mitt Romney favored by 41 percent.
“Voters overwhelming say that Hanna, not O’Brien, is running a more negative campaign,” Greenberg said. “And what hasn’t changed is that Obama has a significant lead over Romney.
“Taken all that together, O’Brien has been able to reverse the course of this race and he heads into the closing days in a very strong position.”
O’Brien leads 76 percent to 14 percent among Democrats in the district, up from 66 percent to 20 percent in October. Hanna leads 71 percent to 21 percent among Republicans, down from 76 percent to 12 percent. O’Brien leads 51 percent to 39 percent among independents after trailing 50 percent to 34 percent last month.
The 55th District includes eastern Monroe County except Webster, and Rush in the southern part of the county, and western Ontario County.
The survey was done Tuesday through Thursday with telephone calls to 476 registered voters, Siena representatives said. The margin of error is 4.5 percent.
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