Republican Claudia Tenney and Democrat Kim Myers were tied in a Democratic poll of New York’s open 22nd District contest, obtained first by Roll Call.
Myers and Tenney each received 35 percent of the vote in the Anzalone Liszt Grove Research poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Upstate Jobs Party candidate Martin Babinec received 21 percent.
The poll surveyed 400 voters via cellphone and landlines from Aug. 14 to 16. The margin of error was 4.9 percentage points.
Babinec is the wild card in this race. Republicans in upstate New York have previously suffered from third-party candidates eating into their percentage of the vote. Babinec has said he’ll caucus with Republicans if elected.
But when undecided voters and those supporting Babinec were asked to choose between the two major-party candidates, Tenney and Myers were still tied, at 41 percent each.
Tenney, a state assemblywoman, has a 35 percent favorable rating and a 34 percent unfavorable rating. The polling memo did not disclose Myers’ favorability numbers.
The 22nd District is one of two tossup races in the Empire State, and it’s a top target for Democrats, whose path to winning a House majority may run through New York. Mitt Romney barely carried this district in 2012.
Establishment Republicans didn’t get the candidate they wanted here in the June primary. Tenney received tea party support when she challenged moderate Republican Rep. Richard Hanna in 2014. Hanna is retiring this year, and has said he will never back Tenney. (He’s also the only GOP congressman to endorse Hillary Clinton for president).
But the National Republican Congressional Committee added Tenney to its Young Guns program this week. Tenney also earned the backing of 19th District GOP Rep. Chris Gibson, another moderate Republican who is retiring at the end of this Congress.
Myers, the daughter of the founder of Dick’s Sporting Goods, has loaned her campaign $240,000. She ended the 2nd quarter with $532,000. Tenney has loaned her campaign $60,000 over the course of the race, but ended the 2nd quarter with only $5,000.