A new poll by Public Opinion Strategies (commissioned by the Tedisco campaign) has confirmed what many have suspected " that name recognition might be the biggest barrier for Murphy to overcome. The poll shows Tedisco leading 50 to 29, with the Assemblyman holding 64 percent name recognition among 400 of the district's voters polled.
One independent candidate has announced his bid so far: Eric Sundwall, a 41-year-old IT consultant, who hails from Niverville. He'll have the formidable task of collecting 3,500 valid voter signatures to get on the ballot, a task that is difficult enough over the multiple weeks allowed under the normal election cycle.
Scheduling aside, getting the message out will cost money. At the moment, there is no concrete way to determine the size of the candidates' respective war chests, or how much money they have spent. The task of collecting and disseminating this information falls upon the Federal Election Commission, as it would in any normal Congressional race. The monitoring body will not set deadlines for disclosures until Paterson schedules the election, though.
With national backing lining up behind the candidates, it is likely that money will be spent hard and fast. At the same time, it's doubtful that the figures will amount to last fall's race between Gillibrand and independently wealthy Sandy Treadwell, who collectively burned through about $11.5 million.
"Why so much money was spent last time was the fact Treadwell poured in so much money, and the Democrats wanted to hold on to the seat," said Zimmerman. "This time, it's a different situation."
When it comes to money, the real factor is going to be desire, said Zimmerman. Will Democrats, who hold a healthy majority in the House, be inclined to put their weight into a race against Republicans who see winning back the 20th as a matter of pride?