As I said yesterday, any time an incumbent is polling below 50 percent, his or her people start to sweat a bit. After yesterday's internal poll by the Gibson campaign, we have an internal poll conducted by Schreibman's people. The numbers are very encouraging:
NY-19 GSG for Julian Schreibman (July 2012)
As you can see, this poll has Gibson well below where he needs to be in order to be assured of a win.
Another thing that stands out, is the fact that Schreibman has such low name recognition. Only 19 percent of the voters know who he is at the moment. We can expect major movement on these numbers, which will definitely put this race in flux. And Gibson has double the name recognition Schreibman does, but isn't cracking 50 percent (if you average these two polls together). Not good for Gibson.
Another key finding: Gibson's favorables are under water, at 28 percent favorable, 39 percent unfavorable. Gibson can try to distance himself from the Tea Party, but the damage has already been done, apparently. Schreibman needs to take advantage of Gibson's association with these folks.
The near-even, three-way split among voters is also encouraging. Gibson will have to win over independents in a district that is now much more left-leaning, and that won't be easy given his record.
And there may be a mild coat-tail effect, for sure. Presidential races tend to bring out voters in large numbers, though New York State has been locked in the Democratic/Obama column since Reagan (and it certainly won't be going GOP this year).
Gibson's surrogates keep touting the strength of their candidate, and that he has a big lead in the polls. But they are whistling past the graveyard. Gibson is very vulnerable and they know it. The bluster we're hearing is an attempt to take the opposition off its game.
Bottom line: Schreibman can beat Gibson, and they're clearly very nervous about this.