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Internal Poll Shows Competitive New York House Race

The poll tested Pat Ryan and Antonio Delgado against GOP Rep. John Faso

Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., is a top Democratic target. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., is a top Democratic target. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An internal Democratic poll shows GOP Rep. John Faso is in for a competitive race, with two Democratic challengers polling ahead or very close to the first-term lawmaker.

Democrat Pat Ryan, an Iraq War veteran, was slightly ahead of Faso, while attorney Antonio Delgado is close behind, according to a poll conducted for Ryan’s campaign and shared with Roll Call. The poll tested just Ryan and Delgado in a general election matchup against Faso. Both Ryan and Delgado are currently among the top candidates in a crowded Democratic field.

In the poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, 44 percent supported Ryan, while 41 percent backed Faso in an initial head-to-head matchup. Delgado and Faso were tied at 42 percent. The margin of error was 3.2 points.

The author of the polling memo touts the numbers as proof that Ryan is the Democrat who could beat Faso in November. Both Ryan and Delgado have sizable campaign war chests, but three other candidates also have more than $400,000 in the bank.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 928 registered voters in the district between May 4th and May 7th via automated telephone interviews.

Thirty percent of those surveyed approved of the job Faso was doing in Congress, while 47 percent disapproved.

The poll results remained close after the respondents were read positive information about the three contenders. After voters heard that information, Ryan polled ahead of Faso 43 to 41, and Faso led Delgado 41 to 43.

The positive information on Faso noted he is the current Republican congressman who has “championed ideas to increase opportunity for families, combat the heroin epidemic, treat Lyme disease, boost our local economy and improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

Ryan’s description said he was a Democrat, Kingston native and West Point graduate who went on to start a technology company. The bio also stressed his service in Iraq and noted he would “work with both parties to get things done to help our middle class.” Delgado’s biography described him as a Democrat who grew up in a working class home and went to Harvard law school. The bio also said Delgado “says Washington has left too many in our area behind.”

Ryan and Delgado are competing with five other Democrats in the June 26 primary. The other candidates include Gareth Rhodes, who worked for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo; attorney David Clegg; businessman Brian Flynn; and teacher Jeff Beals. Economist Erin Collier is the only woman in the primary and EMILY’s List endorsed her on Wednesday.

Faso’s team responded to the poll by describing the Democrats as “carpetbagger candidates.”

“Whichever far-left candidate Democrats nominate will be in for a fight because voters know John Faso,” Faso’s campaign manager Tom Szymanski said in a statement, “and they know he will tirelessly work to make Upstate more economically viable, like he has for farmers in the new Farm Bill, and ensure our veterans get the services they’ve earned.”

President Donald Trump carried the 19th District 7 points in 2016, although former President Barack Obama won the district twice. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Republican.

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