Doug Hoffman might not be hurting Dede Scozzafava as much as she is hurting herself, according to a new poll out Thursday.

The new poll shows Democrat Bill Owens holds a 35-30 lead over Scozzafava in a special election for New York's 23rd district. The Research 2000 poll for the liberal website Daily Kos echoes a poll from last week that showed Owens leading Scozzafava 33-29. Conservative Party candidate Hoffman was at 23 percent in both polls.


The new poll shows that Scozzafava, predictably, is being hurt more than Owens by Hoffman’s right-leaning candidacy. But it also shows that her voters wouldn’t necessarily choose the Republican in a two-person race without Hoffman, either.

Of Hoffman’s voters, 62 percent say they would be undecided on their second-choice candidate, while another 26 percent said they wouldn’t vote. Nine percent pick Scozzafava, and 3 percent pick Hoffman.

This suggests Hoffman voters aren’t just going to his side because they prefer his more conservative politics, but also because they don’t really see Scozzafava as a viable alternative.

Of course, part of the reason Scozzafava is losing these voters could be attributed to the fact that Hoffman is offering a more conservative alternative — a contrast that might not be as stark without him in the race.

The Daily Kos poll reasserts that Owens has taken over as the leader in the race. Financial reports filed Thursday showed Owens extending a large fundraising lead over Scozzafava, with Hoffman remaining in contention thanks to strong online fundraising.

The poll was conducted Monday-Wednesday. The election is set for Nov. 3.