A new poll shows Democrat Kathy Hochul leading Republican Jane Corwin just two days before the special election for a vacant western New York House seat.
The poll by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling is the second survey in two days to suggest Hochul is now the favorite to win what is typically a Republican-oriented district. Hochul led Corwin by 42 percent to 36 percent, according to the PPP survey. Jack Davis, an independent candidate running on the Tea Party ballot line, picked up 13 percent.
The poll reflects a steady rise for Hochul, who in a Public Policy Polling survey conducted earlier this month held a 4-point lead, 35 percent to 31 percent, over Corwin. Davis has dropped significantly from 24 percent in the earlier survey.
The new Public Policy Polling survey indicates a wider lead for Hochul than a Siena Research Institute poll released on Saturday, in which the Democrat led 42 percent to 38 percent.
Both polls suggest that Davis, whom the GOP has attacked relentlessly once it realized he was siphoning votes from Corwin, has faded. Davis dropped from 23 percent to 12 percent in the Siena poll.
Still, Davis, who ran for the seat in 2004 and 2006 as a Democrat, appears to be having a significant impact. Davis is picking up 16 percent of Republican support in the Public Policy Polling survey – siphoning critical backing from Corwin.
Corwin, who has waged an aggressive late TV ad blitz hammering Hochul and Davis, is increasingly viewed unfavorably. Just 39 percent of likely voters in the Buffalo-area district expressed a favorable view of the Republican, while 51 percent said they had a favorable impression of Hochul.
The survey of 1,106 likely voters was conducted May 21 to May 22 and has a margin of error of 2.9 percent.