October 20, 2017 • Syracuse.com

Poll: Anthony Brindisi holds slim lead over Claudia Tenney in race for Congress

WASHINGTON -- State AssemblymanAnthony Brindisihas jumped out to a narrow lead over Rep.Claudia Tenneyin the early stages of their race for the 22ndCongressional District, according to the first publicly released poll of the campaign.

Brindisi, D-Utica, leads Tenney, R-New Hartford, 45 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, with 12 percent undecided, according to the poll conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington.

Brindisi, a three-term member of the state Assembly who has shown an independent streak, leads Tenney among registered independent and unaffiliated voters by 24 points (55 to 31 percent), according to the poll.

Brindisi also leads Tenney among likely women voters by 16 points, 53-37 percent, the poll found.

The poll of 561 likely voters reached voters on land lines and cell phones on Oct. 10 through live operators and automated phone calls. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

TheDCCC, the campaign arm of House Democrats, supports Brindisi in the race. Tenney, who was elected to her first term last year, has been rated bypolitical analystsas one of the 10 most vulnerable House Republicans.

The race in the eight-county Upstate New York district is expected to be one of the most competitive in the nation in the 2018 midterm elections, and likely the top battleground in New York state.

President Donald Trump won the district with 54.3 percent of the vote last year, but the poll shows Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Tenney are now viewed unfavorably in the 22ndDistrict.

Trump's job approval rating (41 percent favorable to 52 percent unfavorable) was better than Ryan's, with 26 percent viewing Ryan's performance favorably and 52 percent unfavorably.

Tenney was viewed favorably by 36 percent of voters and unfavorably by 41 percent. Brindisi was viewed favorably by 23 percent of voters and unfavorably by 12 percent.

About 65 percent of voters did not know enough about Brindisi to have an opinion about him, showing he is not as widely known in the sprawling congressional district as Tenney.

Tenney campaign spokesman Tim Edson said he expects the poll numbers to change as voters learn more about Brindisi.

"Elections are about choices," Edson said. "Anthony Brindisi is the hand-picked candidate of (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo and (House Democratic Leader Nancy) Pelosi. Once voters see where he really stands on the issues, they'll know he's too liberal for this district."

The poll found Tenney's favorability ratings remained unchanged since she won a three-way race for Congress last year over Demcorat Kim Myers and independent Martin Babinec. A November 2016Siena College pollshowed 36 percent of likely voters viewed her favorably and 41 percent unfavorably.

The22ndDistrictstretches from Lake Ontario in the north to the Pennsylvania border in the south, with the largest concentration of voters in Oneida County, which includes the cities of Utica and Rome. Both Tenney and Brindisi live in Oneida County.

The district covers all of Madison, Oneida, Cortland and Chenango counties and portions of Oswego, Broome, Herkimer, and Tioga counties.

The poll did not includeNicholas Wan, a 27-year-old financial planner from Binghamton who launched a GOP primary campaign against Tenney last month. Wan says he will run "America's most radical congressional campaign."

Read the full piece here.

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