Newsday / News 12 Long Island / Siena College 1st Congressional District Poll:
Zeldin Closes Gap, Pulls Ahead; Leads Bishop 50-45 Percent
Dead Even in Brookhaven; Zeldin Leads in East End Towns & with Independents
Loudonville, NY. Republican challenger Lee Zeldin has erased a previous 10-point gap and has taken a five-point, 50-45 percent lead over incumbent Democratic Representative Tim Bishop, according to a Newsday/News 12 Long Island/Siena College Research Institute poll of likely 1st C.D. voters released today. Brookhaven voters – two-thirds of the district – are evenly divided between Bishop and Zeldin, while Zeldin leads by 12 points in the East End towns, after having trailed there by 10 points.
“Bishop had an early 10-point lead but after six weeks of a blistering campaign with millions spent attacking both candidates, Zeldin has jumped in front,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Both candidates have done an excellent job of holding on to and increasing the base of voters from their own party. But the key for Zeldin in overtaking Bishop has been independent voters, who had previously favored Bishop by 20 points and now side with Zeldin by 14 points.
“Zeldin has turned a nine-point deficit in Brookhaven into a dead even race in the part of the district with the most voters. In the East End towns, where Bishop had led by 10 points, Zeldin now leads 53-41 percent,” Greenberg said. “Zeldin leads with men by 17 points, up from six points previously, and Bishop leads by eight points with women, down from 23 points earlier.
“Both candidates’ supporters appear pretty locked in, as three-quarters of both Bishop and Zeldin voters say there is no chance they will change their minds between now and Election Day,” Greenberg said.
“While Bishop continues to be better known than Zeldin, it’s no longer the case that he’s viewed more favorably. Zeldin’s 48-35 percent favorability rating is up from 40-29 percent. Bishop is now at a break-even 47-48 percent favorability rating, down from 54-39 percent previously,” Greenberg said.
“Both candidates are viewed favorably by overwhelming majorities of voters in their own parties and unfavorably by overwhelming majorities of voters in the opposite party,” Greenberg said. “However, Zeldin has a nearly two-to-one positive favorability rating with independents, while Bishop who had been viewed favorably by independents in September, now has a negative 45-50 percent favorability rating with them.”
Cuomo Continues to Lead Astorino But Previous 20-Point Lead is Down to Seven Points
“Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to lead Rob Astorino, although Astorino has closed more than half of the gap. Cuomo leads 48-41 percent, with five percent for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. Cuomo had previously led 52-32-6 percent,” Greenberg said. “Astorino has succeeded in bringing some more Republicans home, although Cuomo continues to have the support of one-quarter of Republicans. And independent voters, who had sided with Cuomo by a large 27-point margin, are now evenly divided between the two candidates.”
“Tim Bishop has certainly seen his share of big money, down and dirty campaigns, and has won some close elections. If he wants a seventh term in Washington he’s going to have to do it by coming from behind. Lee Zeldin has surged over the last several weeks, erasing a 10-point deficit and turning it in to a modest five-point lead,” Greenberg said. “While Zeldin is at 50 percent, five percent of voters are still undecided. Still, which voters turn out – and which don’t – is likely to determine the outcome in this district with slightly more Republicans than Democrats, in a gubernatorial election year, which historically favors Republicans. This looks like one to watch closely on Tuesday night as returns start rolling in.”
This Newsday/News 12 Long Island/Siena College 1st C.D. survey was conducted October 26-29, 2014 by telephone calls to 670 likely voters drawn from a list of registered voters. Determined by a stringent screen, likely voters were statistically adjusted to reflect historic turnout by gender and age, and by party registration. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 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 Steven Greenberg at 518-469-9858. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.