Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis and first-term Democratic Rep. Max Rose are in a virtual dead heat among likely voters in a poll of the 11th congressional district encompassing Staten Island and southern Brooklyn.
The NBC4 New York/Marist survey released Monday finds Rose just behind his challenger. Malliotakis garners 48 percent of likely voters to 46 percent for Rose but that is well within the poll’s 4.7 percent margin of error.
Among all registered voters, Rose leads Malliotakis by one point — a virtual dead heat.
In another finding that could impact the race, the poll found President Trump leading former Vice President Joe Biden by 7 points in the 11th CD. That’s potentially good news for Malliotakis, who is running under Trump on the ballot.
Trump carried the district by 10 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Rose voted in the House to impeach Trump.
“This is one of the few congressional cliffhangers around the nation,” said Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist Poll. “Two factors may decide who wins: how Trump and Biden do in the district at the top of the ticket and whether or not turnout is off the charts.”
In a normal race, the incumbent would enjoy having more name recognition.
But this race is like having two incumbents. Malliotakis is a state assemblywoman who has been in office for a decade and was the GOP candidate for mayor in 2017. She lost to de Blasio citywide but carried Staten Island with 70 percent of the vote.
Rose, a decorated Army veteran who was wounded in combat in Afghanistan, came out of nowhere to upset Republican Rep. Dan Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney, in 2018 in what turned out to be a blue wave mid-term election.
The NBC poll found that Malliotakis leads among Staten Island residents who make up the majority of the district, white men without college degrees and those over 45.
Rose led among the district’s Brooklyn residents, Latinos, white women with college degrees and voters under 45.
Historically, it’s been a challenge for Democrats in the conservative leaning congressional district to hold onto the congressional seat.
Former congressman Michael McMahon, the current Staten Island District attorney, lost his re-election bid to Republican Michael Grimm during the 2010 Tea Party mid-term elections.
Rose has sought to show his independence and moderation by slamming the left wing of his party — including Mayor Bill de Blasio and democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Both campaigns said the poll’s findings confirm that it’s a close race.
“Today’s WNBC New/Marist Poll confirms what our internal polling has been showing in recent weeks; this is an extremely tight race and Max Rose is in deep trouble,” said Malliotakis spokesman Rob Ryan.
Ryan said the results show the attack ads that Rose and his Democratic allies have barraged Malliotakis with haven’t worked.
Said Rose spokesman Jonas Edwards-Jenks, “This split-decision poll confirms what everyone knows: this election will come down to turnout—and right now the Malliotakis campaign is getting crushed.”
The Rose camp said it is buoyed by early voting and absentee ballot returns that show “record Democratic” turnout.
“Polls and pundits didn’t think we could win in 2018 and we proved them all wrong. We look forward to doing so once again,” Edward-Jenks said.
The candidates and their allies have bludgeoned the other with millions of dollars spent on nasty attack ads. Rose holds a fund-raising advantage down the stretch.
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