Siena College / 24th Congressional District Poll

Katko Balter Race
  • Katko 45% – Balter 45% – Williams 5% – Undecided 4%
  • Balter Leads by 34 Points in Syracuse; Katko Up by 22 Points Outside Onondaga
  • Biden (Viewed Favorably) Leads Trump (Viewed Unfavorably) by 14 Points

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Incumbent Republican Representative John Katko and Democratic challenger Dana Balter each have the support of 45 percent of voters, with five percent supporting WFP candidate Steven Williams, and four percent still undecided, according to a new Siena College/ poll of likely 24th C.D. voters released today. This compares to a narrow 42-40 percent lead for Balter, with six percent for other candidates three weeks ago.

In the race for president, former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 53-39 percent, compared to a 53-34 percent Biden lead earlier in October.

ny24 chart1

“They say that sequels are never as good as the originals but in NY24 the rematch looks like it may be even closer than Katko’s 53-47 percent win two years ago,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “In this district with similar numbers of Democrats and Republicans, both candidates hold more than three-quarters of voters from their party, while Katko holds a slim four-point lead with independents.

“Balter widened her lead in Syracuse, now leading by 34 points, and she also leads in the remainder of Onondaga County, about half of likely voters, by five points. Katko has a significant 22-point lead in the portion of the district that includes Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne Counties,” Greenberg said.

“There continues to be a gender gap with Katko leading among men by 18 points and Balter leading with women by 16 points,” Greenberg said. “Balter leads with voters who have a college degree by seven points, down from 13 points, and Katko leads with voters without a degree by seven points, down from 14 points.

“Of course, an unknown factor is how many votes will Williams – the official candidate of the WFP, who has endorsed Balter and unsuccessfully tried to get his name off the ballot – get and will those votes for a third party candidate hurt Balter or Katko more? At this stage, it certainly appears possible that Katko or Balter could win without getting 50 percent of the vote,” Greenberg said.

Katko has a negative 43-46 percent favorability rating, improved from 39-49 percent three weeks ago. Balter’s favorability rating is negative 39-47 percent, little changed from 36-46 percent previously.

“The presidential race in NY24 continues to be solidly for Biden. Biden’s previous lead of 19 points has been whittled to 14 points, but still remains far larger than Trump’s four-point defeat in the district four years ago,” Greenberg said. “While 96 percent of Balter voters are supporting Biden, ‘only’ 79 percent of Katko voters back Trump. In fact, one of every seven Katko voters says they are supporting Biden.

“This district is solid blue on the presidential race but is showing serious purple tendencies on the congressional level. Both campaigns figure to be extraordinarily busy these next several days because it is clear that whichever side does a better job of getting their voters to cast their votes – be it by mail or in person – is likely to be the winning campaign,” Greenberg said.

This Siena College/ 24th C.D. survey was conducted October 20-22, 2020 among 558 likely 24th C.D. voters. This poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points. Calls were made to a stratified weighted sample of voters from the Aristotle Voter list via both land and cell phones. A likely-to-vote probability was computed for each respondent based on their stated likelihood to vote as well as by virtue of the imputation of a turnout probability score based on past voting behavior. This combined probability to vote score was applied as a weight along with a weight that considered party registration, age, region, and gender. Polling support for this project provided by Reconnaissance Market Research. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, 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: