Poll results released tonight by Siena College show Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney leading his Republican predecessor and challenger, Nan Hayworth, by 5 percentage points in the final days of their rematch race for New York’s 18th Congressional District.
The phone survey of 682 likely voters was done Oct. 24-27 and had a margin of error of 3.8 points. Maloney’s slender edge was slightly narrower than the 8-point advantage he held in a Siena poll conducted more than a month earlier.
Weeks of caustic ads and mailings attacking Maloney have driven up his unfavorability rating to 41 percent from 31 percent in September, although the 47 percent of poll respondents who had a favorabile view of him was still higher than Hayworth’s 44 percent.
Maloney held a strong lead of 12 percentage points over Hayworth in Orange County, which accounts for about half the district’s electorate, and was ahead by five points in Dutchess, while Hayworth led by nine points in Putnam and Westchester counties.
Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said the keys to the outcome on Tuesday in such a close race will be turnout and which party does a better job getting its voters to the polls — factors that favor Republicans in nonpresidential voting years.
The poll excluded Scott Smith, the Goshen resident who has mounted an independent campaign for the 18th District.