Politics

Indicted Rep. Chris Collins Limping to Finish Line in Poll, Fundraising

N.Y. Republican raised just $80 from individuals within the 27th District in 3rd quarter

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., raised just $80 from individual contributors in his district in the third filing quarter of 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New York Rep. Chris Collins has seen his lead over his Democratic opponent dwindle and individual contributions to his campaign vanish since he was indicted in August on insider trading charges stemming from his investment in an Australian biotech company.

The Buffalo-area Republican collected just $33,000 in campaign contributions in the third filing quarter, according to a Federal Elections Commission summary of his receipts.

That’s a third of what he pulled in during the second quarter and likely to be one of the lowest third-quarter marks of any endangered incumbent this election cycle.

Collins suspended his campaign for part of the third quarter after he was arrested on Aug. 8 and vowed to help another Republican onto the ballot. But he soon reversed course, announcing he would still be running and would serve if elected, after GOP officials were not able to find a viable path to replace him on the ballot.

Just three individuals from inside New York’s 27th District contributed to Collins’ campaign in the third quarter — for a sum of $80.

Watch: Collins’ Challenger: We Raised More This Morning Than ‘In the Whole Race’

New poll

The race for his seat is heating up, too.

Democratic nominee Nate McMurray trailed Collins by just 3 points, 46 percent to 43 percent, in a new Siena College/Spectrum News poll.

Collins won a third term in 2016 by 34 points, while President Donald Trump carried the district by nearly 25 points. The 27th was nevertheless among the earliest Democratic targets. 

“This is a strongly Republican district that is struggling to determine how it’s going to vote in this congressional race,” Steve Greenberg, director of the Siena College Research Institute, said in a statement.

The Siena College pollsters surveyed 490 people in the district from Oct. 6-11. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

Collins still has roughly $1 million in his war chest to throw toward his re-election bid as Nov. 6 nears.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Leans Republican.

Pass the Pie and the Secrets: Collins Allegedly Shared Insider Trading Knowledge While At Congressional Picnic

Correction Wednesday, 1:06 a.m. | An earlier version of this story should have said that New York’s 27th District was among the earliest Democratic targets. 

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