The New York Senate Chamber at the Capitol on June...

The New York Senate Chamber at the Capitol on June 20, 2014, in Albany. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

From the viewing stands, it certainly has looked like a good couple of weeks for Senate Republicans on Long Island, where the GOP, struggling to stay relevant in state government, holds all nine seats.

First came the abrupt withdrawal announcement of Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) from the 8th District race amid public charges from his former law firm that he ripped off a major client. Denenberg had been given strong chances against Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa).

Then the Democrats couldn't replace him on the ballot.

Then a Newsday/News 12/Siena College poll showed Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) leading Democratic challenger Adam Haber 56 to 31 percent in the 7th District.

Then the same pollsters showed Republican Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci before Democratic environmental activist Adrienne Esposito, 56 to 29 percent, in the 3rd District.

Put it together, said Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif, and it says Nassau and Suffolk voters "remember the disastrous anti-Long Island agenda" of the opposing party's short 2009-10 reign in the upper house, from cancellation of property-tax rebates, to an MTA payroll tax, to school-aid shifts.

Not so fast, warns the leader of the Senate Democrats' campaign.

Without impugning the polls' findings, Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) argued: "The Republicans are always ahead at the beginning of October because they spend money earlier than we do."

Gianaris offered examples of the numbers changing down the final stretch.

On Sept. 28, 2010, Siena showed incumbent Sen. Frank Padavan with 56 percent in his Queens district against 32 percent for Anthony Avella. But Avella won on Election Day.

On Oct. 3, 2012, now-Sen. Ted O'Brien (D-Rochester) trailed Republican Assemb. Sean Hanna by 8 points for an open seat, Siena showed. O'Brien later won by 4 points.

Gianaris, meanwhile, dismissed concerns about the previous Democratic majority's actions as "looking into the past as opposed to thinking about the future.

"This is a new Democratic conference," Gianaris argued, "whose leader is a suburbanite from Westchester [Andrea Stewart-Cousins] and understands the sensitivities of suburban New Yorkers."

In any case, as the stock disclaimers say, past performance does not guarantee future results.