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Poll shows Katko with edge among Syracuse voters & women

Colleen Deacon for Congress; Congressman John Katko
WRVO News File Photo

In each of the last three congressional elections in the Syracuse area, incumbents have been big losers. But that trend could change this year if results of the first independent poll for the 24th Congressional District race hold steady.

The 24th Congressional District seems to be a district that defies convention. According to Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg, voters tilt slightly to the left of center on the issues. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans, and district voters are solidly behind Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. 

So while that all should spell doom for freshman Republican Rep. John Katko’s bid for re-election, Greenberg says the new Sienna/Time Warner Cable News poll numbers indicate otherwise.

"Katko has the support of 53 percent of likely voters in the 24th C.D., compared to 34 percent for Colleen Deacon, the Democratic challenger," he said.

Greenberg says the most glaring reason for the 19-point disparity is that Katko has his base in line, and Deacon does not.

"Katko is doing a much better job cutting into Deacon’s base. Deacon now has the support of 62 percent of Democrats. And more than a quarter of Democrats, 28 percent, say they are supporting John Katko,” said Greenberg.

Greenberg says Katko is doing well in traditional Democratic demographics. He leads Deacon with women by 16 pOINTS, and is also doing well in the democratic stronghold of the city of Syracuse, leading Deacon by 12-points.

“She’s got to win back the Democrats. It’s hard for her to win in a district that’s nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Hard for her to win if Katko’s going to pick up 28 percent of support from Democrats.”

Katko is also leading two-to-one with independents. Greenberg says the numbers show Deacon has a problem with name recognition. Forty-one pecent of likely voters polled didn’t know enough about her to have an opinion.

There are five weeks left before election day, and Greenberg says that’s an eternity in the political world.

“But every day that comes off the calendar, is one day less that Deacon has a chance to win back those democrats and independents.”

The 24th Congressional District includes all of Cayuga, Onondaga and Wayne Counties and the western part of Oswego County.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.