Poll: Indicted GOP Rep. Chris Collins holds slim lead in New York House race

Poll: Indicted GOP Rep. Chris Collins holds slim lead in New York House race
© Greg Nash

Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsNate McMurray launches second challenge against GOP Rep. Chris Collins Michael Caputo eyes congressional bid House ethics panel renews probes into three GOP lawmakers MORE (R-N.Y.), who is running for reelection despite facing charges of insider trading, holds a slim lead over his Democratic challenger in a new poll.

Collins leads Nate McMurray by 3 points, 46 to 43 percent, in the Siena College/Spectrum News poll of likely voters released Tuesday.

The result falls within the poll’s margin of error, which is 4.7 percentage points.

Independents surveyed are nearly evenly split, with 46 percent supporting McMurray and 45 supporting Collins.

Collins and McMurray are virtually tied among likely male voters, with 46 and 45 percent respectively. Among female voters, Collins holds a 46 to 42 percent edge, according to the poll.

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Collins's favorability rating in the poll is underwater, with nearly half of surveyed voters, 49 percent, having an unfavorable view of the incumbent, while 37 percent have a favorable view of him. 

By comparison, 32 percent have a favorable view of McMurray, who is currently the supervisor of Grand Island, N.Y., while 21 percent have an unfavorable one. Nearly half of those surveyed, 48 percent, said they did not know the candidate or refused to answer.

The Justice Department in August charged Collins, 68, with securities fraud and lying to the FBI about his efforts to tip off family members with nonpublic stock information to help them avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment losses.

Collins, who pleaded not guilty, initially suspended his reelection campaign in the wake of the charges but reversed course last month, saying he planned to remain in the race.

A judge last week set a February 2020 trial date for Collins, meaning if he wins re-election, he will serve out much of his next term with the charges hanging over him.

The Siena College/Spectrum News poll of 490 likely voters in the district was conducted Oct. 6-11.