Deacon Katko

Pictured from left is Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Deacon and U.S. Rep. John Katko. Katko, R-Camillus, is running for re-election against Deacon, D-Syracuse, in the 24th Congressional District. 

Sarah Jean Condon, The Citizen

With less than three weeks to go until Election Day, a new Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll shows U.S. Rep. John Katko has a commanding lead over Democratic challenger Colleen Deacon in the 24th Congressional District race.

Katko, R-Camillus, leads by 23 points, 54 to 31 percent, over Deacon, D-Syracuse, in the Syracuse-area race for Congress. He’s supported by 81 percent of Republican voters and 27 percent of Democrats. He also leads among independents by a 54 to 25 percent margin.

This is the second independent poll released by Time Warner Cable News and Siena College. The first was released earlier this month and showed Katko with a 19-point lead in the 24th District race.

“Three weeks ago, we said ‘In addition to Deacon’s challenge of winning back more Democrats, she trails 2-to-1 with independents,’ Unfortunately for Deacon, she has shown no movement in winning back the more than one-quarter of Democrats backing Katko, and Katko continues his better than 2-to-1 lead with independents,” Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said.

Katko has a 52 percent favorable rating, according to the poll. His favorability is higher among voters outside of Syracuse in Onondaga County — 55 percent — and in Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties — 52 percent.

Deacon’s unfavorable marks are higher than her favorables — 38 to 31 percent. A plurality of Syracuse voters -- 45 percent — view her favorably. In Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties, her favorable rating is 22 percent. Nearly half of voters in the three more rural counties don’t know or have no opinion of the Democratic candidate.

Deacon does lead Katko in Syracuse, 47 to 39 percent. But in the rest of Onondaga County, he’s up 57 to 29 percent.

In Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties, his lead is 31 points — 57 to 26 percent.

Katko’s campaign was pleased with the results of the poll.

“John Katko has maintained a strong lead in this race because he has spent the past two years building credibility with voters, demonstrating his ability to deliver results for central New York,” said Erin O’Connor, Katko’s spokesperson. “We are confident our bipartisan record will continue to resonate and the campaign remains focused as we move into the final weeks.”

While Katko leads the congressional race, more 24th District voters prefer Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.

Clinton leads Republican nominee Donald Trump by 10 points, 44 to 34 percent. A vast majority of Deacon’s supporters — 85 percent — said they’re voting for Clinton. One-fifth of Katko’s backers said they’re also supporting Clinton.

A small majority of Katko’s voters — 52 percent — said they’re supporting Trump in the presidential race. Twelve percent said they would vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

The presidential polling results are noteworthy because of the Democrats’ strategy in the 24th District race. Katko has been linked to Republican presidential nominee for months, especially in the past couple of weeks after an 11-year-old video surfaced showing Trump making sexually aggressive comments about women.

The survey of 673 likely voters was conducted Oct. 18-19. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percent. 

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