Engel trails primary challenger by 10 points: poll

A new poll shows Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers on hot mic joke 'aisle hog' Engel absent from Biden address: 'He'd wait all day' Bowman to deliver progressive response to Biden's speech to Congress Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges MORE (D-N.Y.) trailing his progressive challenger by 10 points just a week before New York voters pick their nominees, an ominous sign for a longtime incumbent whose district has changed markedly since he was first elected.

The survey, conducted by the progressive group Data for Progress, finds middle school principal Jamaal Bowman (D) leading Engel by a 41 percent to 31 percent margin. Twenty-seven percent of Democratic respondents in New York's 16th District remain undecided.

The poll shows Bowman building a big lead among women, voters under 45 years old and African Americans, who make up about a third of the residents in Engel's Bronx-based district. Engel leads by 22 points among white voters, and the two are close to tied among men.


The poll did not test three other Democrats whose names will appear on the ballot — attorney Chris Fink, former New York Police Department officer Sammy Ravelo and Andom Ghebreghiorgis, who has withdrawn and backs Bowman — but none of them are expected to take a significant portion of the vote.

Bowman, making his first run for office, won endorsements from Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Sunrise Movement endorses Nina Turner in special election for Ohio House seat The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Helping students make informed decisions on college Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE (D-Mass.), and from the rising stars of an emerging generation of progressive members of Congress like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMarjorie Taylor Greene may be 'dangerous,' but she's not the first Sunrise Movement endorses Nina Turner in special election for Ohio House seat Islamic Jihad commander killed in airstrike, Israel says MORE (D-N.Y.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.). Groups like Justice Democrats, the Working Families Party and Brand New Congress back Bowman, while most unions have stuck with Engel.

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe curious case of the COVID-19 origin Harris headlining Asian American Democratic PAC's summit Congress won't end the wars, so states must MORE and the Congressional Black Caucus both back Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The New York Times editorial board endorsed Bowman.

Engel's district has changed markedly from the seat he first won in 1988. Back then, just 11 percent of the population was African American, and 13 percent was Hispanic. Today, just under one-third of district residents are white.

But Engel has run a lackluster campaign, even amid signs that progressives were making inroads in New York districts where longtime incumbents were sitting on their laurels.


Two years ago, Ocasio-Cortez, an unknown progressive challenger, ousted another New York Democrat, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley (D). This year, Reps. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyLobbying world Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs MORE (D) and José Serrano (D) both retired in the face of almost certain primary challenges, while other longtime New York City representatives like Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyGOP downplays Jan. 6 violence: Like a 'normal tourist visit' GOP's Gosar defends Jan. 6 rioter, says she was 'executed' HuffPost reporter: DCCC will help Dems fend off progressive challengers to 'keep them happy' MORE (D) and Jerrold Nadler (D) have mounted aggressive campaigns.

The poll, conducted June 11-15, surveyed 525 likely Democratic primary voters contacted online and by text message. The survey had a margin of error of 5.1 percentage points.

--This report was updated at 11:53 a.m.