In Tight Swing District Maffei Leads Katko By 8 Points

Political poll image / Post-Standard / Siena College 24th Congressional District Poll:
In Tight Swing District, Maffei Leads Katko By 8 Points
Overwhelming Support for Minimum Wage Increase, Immigration Reform & ‘Buffett Rule’; Weaker Support for Repealing Obamacare; Split on Mideast Involvement
Katko Up with Independents; Maffei Huge Edge in Syracuse

Loudonville, NY. Democratic Representative Dan Maffei, has an eight-point lead, 50-42 percent, over former federal prosecutor and Republican challenger John Katko, according to a College Research Institute (SRI) poll of likely 24th C.D. voters released today. In this closely watched swing district, Maffei has a bigger lead with Democrats than Katko does with Republicans, however, Katko has a seven-point lead with independents. Maffei has a 58-point lead in the city of Syracuse (16% of the district), but both the rest of Onondaga, and the Cayuga/Wayne/Oswego Counties portion of the district are too close to call.

Likely voters support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour (61-27 percent), passing legislation for comprehensive immigration reform (63-22 percent), and enacting the ‘Buffett Rule’ – a minimum 30 percent income tax rate on millionaires (64-19 percent). By a 47-43 percent margin, they oppose the U.S. doing more politically and militarily in Syria and Iraq to combat terrorism. And they support repealing Obamacare 47-38 percent.

“In this district that has seen close races, and been represented recently by members of both parties, another tight race is shaping up,” said SRI’s Director, Don Levy. “Maffei has the early lead, eight points, but the challenger, Katko is at this early stage, only introducing himself to more than a third of the district.

“Maffei, holding on to his base more than Katko, has the support of 84 percent of Democrats and nearly one-quarter of Republicans. Katko leads with independent voters. While men are closely divided between the candidates, women favor Maffei by 20 points,” Levy said.

“Maffei, a candidate or incumbent here since 2006, has a 49-41 percent favorability rating, while voters are closely divided on, and learning about Katko, with 33 percent viewing him favorably, 31 percent unfavorably and 36 percent forming an opinion,” Levy said. / Post-Standard / Siena College Poll – Sept. 21, 2014
“On Mideast turmoil, immigration and taxes, voters give a small edge to Maffei. But on jobs, – the most important issue for voters – health care and Social Security/Medicare, they favor Maffei over Katko by 10-plus point margins,” Levy said. “While CD 24 voters are closely divided on who they want to control Congress – Democrats or Republicans – by thirteen points they think Maffei would do a better job than Katko representing their interests in D.C.”

Democrats & Republicans Agree On Several Issues; Partisan Divide on Mideast & Obamacare
“Immigration reform and the Buffett Rule are hugely supported by Democrats and by majorities of both independents and Republicans,” Levy said. “A plurality of Republicans favors a greater American role in the Mideast but a majority of Democrats is opposed. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans and a majority of independents want Obamacare repealed, while a strong majority of Democrats oppose that.”

Cuomo Leads Astorino, Hawkins Polls 15 Percent; 24 Percent in Syracuse
“Andrew Cuomo leads Rob Astorino 44-32 percent, with Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins garnering 15 percent district-wide and 24 percent of the vote in Syracuse. Cuomo has a breakeven 46-47 percent favorability rating and Astorino’s is a negative 23-40 percent,” Levy said.

“Maffei, well-known in the district has an early 8 point lead and already rests on the 50 percent mark, but Katko, as yet unknown to over a third, only trails by eight. This seesaw district can be read either way,” Levy said. “Voters already have either been contacted by or seen commercials for both candidates more so than in any district we’ve polled. Expect that to continue as this district may once again come down to the wire.”

This College 24th C.D. survey was conducted September 17 – 18, 2014 by telephone calls to 598 likely voters. A likely voter screen was applied to the sample of registered voters that had been statistically adjusted to reflect party registration, gender and age. It has a margin of error of + 4.0 percentage points. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please call Don Levy at 518-944-0482. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at:

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