Three weeks ahead of congressional primaries a new poll shows that Republican John Faso and Democratic Zephyr Teachout are holding double digit leads against their primary opponents in the 19th Congressional District.
A poll of likely Democratic and Republican primary voters in the district done by Siena College and Times Warner Cable News found Faso, R-Kinderhook, is holding a 22-point lead over Andrew Heaney, R-Washington, 50-28 percent.
The poll also says that Teachout, D-Dover Plains, is leading Will Yandik, D-Livingston, by 30 points, 53-23 percent.
The poll also shows that Faso is viewed more favorable than Heaney among Republican primary voters. While 47 percent view Faso favorably and 30 percent see him unfavorably, 29 percent of the same voters see Heaney favorably while 45 percent see him unfavorably.
Steven Greenberg, Siena College spokesman, said along with her 30-point lead Teachout has the support of more than half of likely Democratic primary voters.
“In Ulster and Dutchess counties, which is expected to account for nearly half of the votes in this Democratic primary, Teachout leads Yandik by more than 40 points, while holding double digit leads in the remainder of the district. While moderate Democrats, who comprise less than one-third of the electorate, provide Teachout with only a 13-point lead, among liberal Democrats, she leads by more than 40 points.”
Teachout said she’s not resting on her laurels.
“It’s great to get positive feedback but I’m going to keep working to earn every vote,” Teachout said via email.
Tony Coppola, Yandik’s campaign manager, said there hasn’t been a congressional race or district-wide primary, besides a presidential race, that’s been competitive that he can remember. He also questioned the methodology of Siena’s polling because of the uniqueness of the race between Yandik and Teachout, saying it’s an electorate “that’s very hard to predict.”
“We have data that shows a much closer race,” Coppola said.
Coppola said the campaign is focused on continuing to spread Yandik’s message of fighting for Main Street over big banks and corporations and roots in the district.
Heaney and Faso have been duking it out for months and super PACs in the district have spent more than $640,000 pushing out negative television advertisements and mailers against both. The competition between Yandik and Teachout has been generally cordial.
“Heaney’s job in winning the primary is considerably harder when he’s viewed unfavorably by a 16- point margin and Faso is viewed favorably by a 17-point margin. Additionally, while both Faso and Heaney commercials have each been seen or heard by two-thirds of the electorate, and slightly more voters say they’ve been contacted by the Heaney campaign, primary voters say Heaney is running the more negative campaign by a 36-20 percent margin,” Greenberg said.
Faso’s spokesman, Dain Pascocello, said the results confirmed what their own polls has been telling them.
“John Faso has concrete ideas to improve the economy, fix Washington’s broken system and address problems facing the 19th Congressional district — and people recognize that. That said, we will continue to work hard to win the trust, confidence and support of GOP voters” Pascocello said.
The 19th district includes all of Ulster and Sullivan counties. The open seat is being vacated by Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who is not running for a fourth term despite the Siena poll showing that he’s viewed favorably by 86 percent of Republican primary voters and 60 percent of Democratic primary voters.
The poll was conducted by calling landline and cell phones from May 31 to June 2. They polled 431 likely Democratic primary voters in the 19th district with a margin of error of 4.7 percent and 436 likely Republican voters in the district with a margin of error of 4.8 percent.
Update: Just got a comment from Heaney’s camp, citing times when Siena’s polling wasn’t on the money, such as the City of Rochester’s mayoral race, mentioned here, .
“The only poll that matters is on Election Day, just ask retired House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Mayor Lovely Warren and Senator Todd Kaminsky,” said David Catalfamo, Heaney’s spokesman.
Correction: I’ve paraphrased a part of Coppola’s quote to more accurately reflect what he says he meant.