Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) holds a nine-point lead over his closest Democratic primary challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, in a new poll.
Espaillat and Rangel are locked in a contentious rematch for the nomination in the deep-blue district. Last cycle, Rangel ultimately pulled out a win by just over 1,000 votes, and this cycle Espaillat has pulled a handful of Hispanic endorsements away from the congressman.
Rangel’s drawn the backing of former President Bill Clinton, whom the poll shows to be the most popular politician in the district. But other prominent Democratic figures — most notably President Obama — are sitting the primary out.
Rangel’s opponents see the 22-term lawmaker as vulnerable in part because of his ethics issues but also because of his age and long tenure, but the new Siena College poll shows that 57 percent of likely primary voters see his age as a positive asset, while 35 percent see it as an issue.
The poll of 678 likely primary voters was conducted May 15-20. It has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.