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Latell, Sawyer say polls show leads



Published: Sat, May 4, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



None of the candidates believes the others' polling numbers.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Congressional candidate Anthony A. Latell Jr.'s polling information has him leading in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

U.S. Rep. Thomas C. Sawyer's show him with comfortable leads in Mahoning, Portage and Summit counties and in a close second in Trumbull County.

Timothy J. Ryan and Maridee Costanzo, other Democratic candidates in the 17th Congressional District race, don't have poll numbers, but they say they are going to win Tuesday's primary.

Not surprisingly, none of the candidates believes any of the other candidates' numbers are legitimate.

Latell's campaign released its poll Friday of 135 Democratic voters in Mahoning and 159 Democratic voters in Trumbull. It is the only campaign to date to release poll figures.

He gets 34 percent of the vote in Trumbull compared to 32 percent for Ryan, 13 percent for Sawyer, and 9 percent for Costanzo, with 11 percent undecided.

In Mahoning, Latell's poll shows him with 29 percent of the vote, Costanzo with 20, Ryan, 16, Sawyer, 4, and 31 percent undecided.

The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday by Rubenstein and Associates, the Liberty firm serving as Latell's campaign consultant.

Vic Rubenstein, who runs the company, said he invites anyone to inspect his poll findings.

Mike Thomas, Sawyer's campaign manager, said Latell's poll numbers are ridiculous and unrealistic. Sawyer's campaign hired Hart, Garin and Yang, a Washington, D.C., polling firm to handle its poll, Thomas said.

Other statements

Thomas would not disclose the details of the poll, which takes in all four counties in the 17th District, but says Sawyer is the clear winner and has a double-digit lead over Latell and Ryan.

The poll has Sawyer winning in Mahoning, Portage and Summit counties and a close second in a tight three-person race in Trumbull between himself, Ryan and Latell, Thomas said. He did not say who the Sawyer poll has as the Trumbull winner.

Patrick Lowry, Ryan's campaign spokesman, calls the polls "a little self-serving."

Dan Letson, a Costanzo campaign spokesman, agreed. "We haven't seen anything published from any company with any credibility," he said. "The accuracy of these polls is highly questionable."

skolnick@vindy.com




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