New York's Elise Stefanik Holds Wide Lead in GOP Poll

GOP super PAC dropping half a million dollars in upstate district

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik leads her Democratic challenger Mike Derrick by double digits, according to a new Republican poll. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican polling shows New York Rep. Elise Stefanik in a strong position to win a second term, but Republican super PACs are still lending a hand to ensure the GOP holds the 21st District.

Stefanik led Democratic challenger Mike Derrick 54 to 29 percent in the poll conducted by American Viewpoint on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The freshman congresswoman had a 55 percent approval and 27 percent disapproval rating. Derrick had a 28 percent approval and 19 percent disapproval rating. 

[The House: 10 Most Vulnerable]

In the presidential race, Republican nominee Donald Trump was ahead of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton 39 to 36 percent in the district, with Libertarian Gary Johnson taking 9 percent and the Green Party's Jill Stein at 3 percent.

The polling memo noted that the presidential ballot did not change “during the controversy of the last week.” The poll surveyed 400 registered voters Oct. 12-13, after recent revelations that Trump had bragged, in a 2005 recording, about kissing and groping women, and after the second presidential debate. Forty percent of respondents were reached on cell phones. The margin of error was 4.9 percentage points.

President Barack Obama twice carried New York’s 21st District by 6 points. Stefanik won by more than 20 points in 2014, when she became the youngest woman ever elected to the House. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Safe Republican.

[Roll Call's 2016 Election Guide: House]

Stefanik raised $619,000 during the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, while Derrick raised $410,000. The GOP incumbent has a cash-on-hand advantage with $1.2 million in the bank compared to Derrick’s $336,000.

Still, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC tied to House GOP leadership, recently announced it is spending $500,000 in the district, which will include TV advertising in the Albany and Watertown media markets. 

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