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Buerkle and Maffei in virtual tie

Democratic congressional candidate Dan Maffei and incumbent Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle head into the fall campaign in a statistical tie, two years after Republican Buerkle unseated Maffei by only 648 votes. A poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Maffei with a six point lead over Buerkle. However, a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points leaves them in a virtual tie.

During his speech to the Onondaga County Democratic Party, Maffei highlighted the differences between himself and his opponent saying this year he has been listening to voters and he knows what is important to them.

"The economy is still number one, and Congresswoman Buerkle has not responded to that. Down in Washington, she's focused on social issues. I'm focused on the economy, and I think that contrast is now widely known," he said.

Maffei also joined other Democrats at the rally in criticizing the congresswoman's co-sponsorship last year of a bill to prohibit federal funding for abortions, even in the case of rape or incest.

Earlier this week, the National Republican Congressional Committee released a television ad that is highly critical of Maffei's time in office, but in an interview with WRVO News, Maffei's response was muted.

"I know what I supported. I supported tax breaks for small businesses and middle class Americans. I worked as hard as I could not to have cops and firefighters and teachers laid off in a time of recession. I'm proud to say that that happened when I was in office," Maffei said.

The DCCC poll surveyed 400 likely voters and 48 percent said they would likely vote for Maffei, 42 percent said they would vote for Buerkle, and 4 percent said they would vote for Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum That leaves just six percent who say they are undecided.

A majority of those surveyed, 55 percent, say they have a negative perception of congresswoman Buerkle's performance since she has been in congress.

Buerkle, Maffei and Rozum are running for Congress in the 24th district, which includes Syracuse and Oswego.