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New York: As Challengers Emerge, Poll Shows Bishop Strong

In a poll taken three months ago for a local Democratic committee, Rep. Tim Bishop (D) was viewed favorably by more than two-thirds of the voters surveyed.

The poll was provided to Roll Call this week by a Bishop ally because Republicans are beginning to mobilize against the three-term Congressman, who has won two comfortable re-election victories despite the GOP overlay of his Long Island district.

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted in mid-August by Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm, for the Brookhaven Democratic Committee. Brookhaven covers about two-thirds of Bishop’s district and does not include some of the more Democratic precincts in the district.

Although the pollsters did not ask head-to-head questions about Bishop and any of his potential challengers because they were focusing on local elections, they did find that 69 percent of those surveyed viewed Bishop favorably, compared with 20 percent who viewed him unfavorably.

Late last month, attorney Lee Zeldin (R) filed to run against Bishop, but he has yet to release any fundraising totals. KT McFarland (R), a former Reagan-era Defense Department official who unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in 2006 and owns a weekend home in the 1st district, also is mentioned as a possible candidate.

Through Sept. 30, Bishop had $697,000 in cash on hand and had eliminated his campaign debt, which dated back to his first election in 2002.

— Josh Kurtz

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