On the eve of election, Republican John Faso has opened up a six-point lead against Democrat Zephyr Teachout in the 19th Congressional District, according to a poll by Siena Research Institute and Time Warner Cable News.
In a poll conducted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 3, pollsters found Faso leading Teachout 48 to 42 percent. That’s up from September when the two were nearly neck and neck at 43 to 42 percent.
And while both candidates have shored up support within their own parties, Faso’s lead has come from independent voters who have swung in favor of Faso since September polling, according to Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg.
Polls in the race had consistently shown up to this point that the race between the two was within just a few points and within the margin of error.
“Thanks to independent voters, Faso takes a six-point lead in to the closing days of this hotly contested and closely watched congressional race,” Greenberg said. “Teachout and Faso both had their parties’ voters locked in six weeks ago and that’s only intensified as each has at least 80 percent support among their respective parties. However, in this district closely divided between Republicans and Democrats, independent voters have moved into the Faso camp by a 13-point margin, after being nearly evenly divided.”
The polling also shows that Faso has eliminated Teachout’s previous 11-point lead with women and now the two are tied. Teachout leads by 21 points among those with college degrees while Faso’s two-to-one edge is among those without college degrees, Greenberg said.
Polling also shows that Teachout’s favorability rating has dropped. While she was previously viewed favorably by an 11-point margin, she’s now seen unfavorably be a seven-point margin, according to the poll. Greenberg said by a 36-30 percent margin voters say Faso, not Teachout, is waging a more negative campaign.
“Turnout. Independents. It looks like that’s what this race is going to come down to in the final days. Can Teachout win back support among independent voters – who are less committed to their current choice of candidate than are Democrats or Republicans? Which side will do a better job of getting their voters to the polls and ensuring that they vote on this crucial down ballot race? The answer to those two questions will likely determine the next Representative from this district,” Greenberg said. “Faso heads into the final days with a small lead and an even smaller enrollment edge. He’s looking to run out the clock. Still a few days to go.”
The poll was conducted to 605 likely voters via cell phones and landlines in the 19th Congressional District. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. The 19th district include parts or all of 11 counties, including all of Ulster and Sullivan.
In 2014 outgoing Republican Rep. Chris Gibson blew out Democratic newcomer Sean Eldridge by about 30 points. Siena’s last poll before that election underestimated Gibson’s advantage by seven points.
You can find the crosstabs for Siena’s poll here.