Siena poll shows Republicans leading in 21st and 24th Congressional Districts
With only a week left until Election Day, the Republicans running in two of upstate New York's historically more contested districts lead their Democratic opponents, according to newly released polls.
The 24th Congressional District showed the most dramatic shift in favor of the Republican. A Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena College poll released early Tuesday, shows Republican John Katko with a ten point lead over Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Maffei. Katko was down eight points when the last poll came out Sept. 21.
Steve Greenberg, with Siena College, says Katko's turnaround comes from areas outside of Syracuse. Katko made large gains in likely voters in Onondaga County outside the city, jumping from 44 to 58 percent.
Maffei, meanwhile, has seen his support dwindle throughout the district, though he still holds a 32 point lead in the city of Syracuse, where registered Democrat voters far outnumber Republicans.
The 24th district includes all or part of four counties, including Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne counties, and has swung between voting for Republican and Democrat members of Congress over the last decade.
In the North Country's 21st Congressional District, a WWNY-TV/Siena College poll finds Republican Elise Stefanik leading her Democratic opponent Aaron Woolf by 18 points, 50-34 percent.
In early September, a similar poll showed Stefanik's lead was 13 percent. The widening gap is partly due to more Republican support and a massive lead with voters in the district's southern counties, including Fulton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.
Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello is polling at 11 percent, up one point from September.
Greenberg says reaching the 50 percent mark is a positive sign for Stefanik, and with Funiciello polling at about 10 percent, a larger majority may not be needed to win.
Meanwhile, Maffei's campaign also released its own survey this morning to counter the Siena poll. It shows the Democrat leading his Republican challenger by five points, 45-40 percent.
The poll was performed by Global Strategy Group and shows Maffei with a 20 point lead over Katko with women voters, at 52 to 32 percent, and a seven point lead among independent voters.