2012-10-12 / Top Stories

Addabbo And Ulrich In Tight Race

By Nicholas Briano

A new Siena Poll released on Monday shows Councilmember Eric Ulrich and State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. are statistically neck and neck in the upcoming race for the State Senate seat in the west end of Rockaway.

According to the poll, Republican challenger Ulrich is trailing Addabbo 45 to 43 percent with another 12 percent of the polled saying that they are either not voting on the race or remain undecided.

Insiders say that the large number of undecided voters can help sway the close election one way or another.

The Republicans are looking to expand on their 33-29 majority in the State Senate and as a result have put a lot of money and backing behind Ulrich’s campaign in hopes of stealing what has traditionally been a heavily Democratic seat for the area.

Even though the lines have been redrawn, the district still includes many of the traditional Democratic strongholds of the former Senate District 15, with the exception of the western end of the Rockaway peninsula where areas such as Breezy Point, Neponsit and Belle Harbor typically vote Republican. That shift in district lines may prove to be the difference should Ulrich go on to defeat Addabbo.

“The seat in Queens – despite its overwhelming 33-point Democratic enrollment advantage – is viewed by Republicans as an opportunity to defeat a Democratic incumbent and increase their majority.

There’s no question that the Democrats are going to have their hands full in trying to hold on to this seat. Addabbo and Ulrich are separated by just two points, with one in eight voters still undecided,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said this week

The biggest issue for State Senate voters is job creation with an overwhelming 30 percent of voters believing this is what Albany needs to be working on the most.

Other items included health care at 16 percent and education at 17 percent.

Ulrich has the support of 76 percent of Republicans, while Addabbo has support from 63 percent of Democrats polled. Ulrich, however, has a commanding 57-27 percent lead among independents in the district.

“In this district where Democrats have a better than two-to-one enrollment edge – including a sizeable number of conservative Democrats – and independents look a lot more like Republicans than Democrats, we have Addabbo, the incumbent, running virtually even with Ulrich, who now represents about one-third of these voters in the City Council,” Greenberg continued.

For the district, 428 voters were included in the sample, with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points.

Ulrich’s campaign immediately sent out comment after the release of the poll, praising its findings.

“Joe Addabbo’s campaign is a fastsinking ship and today’s Siena poll is further proof of that,” Jessica Proud, the spokesperson for Ulrich’s campaign, said.

The Wave will be holding a political debate at 7:30 p.m. on October 30, at the West End Temple, 147-02 Newport Avenue in Neponsit.

All residents are encouraged to come and hear the two candidates talk about issues close to the community. There is no cost to attend.

The Wave is also asking readers to submit questions to the candidates in advance.

Readers can email questions for the debate to statesenate15@gmail.com or @TheWaveNews on Twitter.

Questions can also be submitted by mail to: P.O. Box 930097, Rockaway Beach, NY 11693-0097.

In order for questions to be considered, the following are required: full name, neighborhood and question.

The question you submit must be geared towards both candidates about improvements in public policy, quality of life and proposed legislation.

Remember, the same question must be asked of both candidates and the questions must reflect Rockaway issues.

We look forward to hearing your questions. The deadline to submit your questions is October 25.

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