KINGSTON — A new poll shows Republican Rep. Chris Gibson holds a strong, early 24-point lead over Democratic Sean Eldridge in the 19th Congressional District.
Gibson, from Kinderhook, has the support of 57 percent of likely voters compared to 33 percent who support Eldridge, with 10 percent still undecided, according to a new poll conducted by Time Warner Cable News and Siena College.
By margins ranging from nine to 29 points, voters see Gibson as better than Eldridge on a series of six issues, according to a press release.
“It may be early but incumbent Chris Gibson has a commanding 24-point lead against a well-financed challenger in Sean Eldridge,” said Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg. “Gibson has the support of nearly nine in ten Republicans and 60 percent of independents, as well as one-quarter of Democrats.”
The poll was conducted from September 4-9 by telephone calls to 609 likely voters and has a margin of error of four percentage points. You can find the crosstabs here.
“Gibson has double digit leads in every region of the district, with an overwhelming 41-point lead in the area surrounding the Capital Region,” Greenberg said. “There is little gender gap as Gibson leads by 28 points with men and 20 points with women.”
The poll gets even more gloomy for Eldridge, as Greenberg says he is unknown to “more than half of likely voters, including nearly half of Democrats.”
“Voters with an opinion are evenly divided between favorable and unfavorable,” Greenberg said. “Gibson, with 57-24 percent favorability rating, is viewed favorably by 76 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats. He ended the campaign in 2012 with a 46-31 percent favorability rating.”
Eldridge’s campaign spokeswoman Sophie Friedman took the poll in stride, saying “the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day, and we’re excited to be getting our message out with the help of more than 500 active volunteers.
“We’re confident voters will side with the candidate who reflects their values, and not the one who has voted to sue the President and defund Planned Parenthood, supported fracking even though it puts our drinking water at risk, and signed the Koch Brothers’ pledge to take no action on climate change.”
Out of those polled, 43 percent were from Ulster and Dutchess counties while 25 percent were from Sullivan, Broome, Delaware and Otsego counties. About 23 percent considered themselves liberal, 41 percent moderate and 32 percent conservative.
“On every issue, including the most important issues to voters and those traditionally seen as Democratic strengths, voters say Gibson will do a better job than Eldridge. The range of support for Gibson is between nine points on health care and 29 points on war and political turmoil in the Mideast,” Greenberg said.
Gibson’s campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Valle said the poll shows that “upstate voters don’t want a representative with almost no experience who moved into our area solely to run for Congress.”
“Congressman Gibson puts service first, not partisan politics or personal ambition – a clear contrast with Sean Eldridge. Our Home Team has never been stronger, and we will continue to work every day to ensure this seat cannot be bought,” Valle said.
Despite the commanding lead, Greenberg said the race is likely to tighten.
“At this point in 2012, Gibson led by 16 points in a Siena poll, closing to five points in the final Siena poll, before winning by six points,” Greenberg said. “Eldridge has a lot of work to do to close the gap but in this district with nearly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans the race is likely to tighten.”