Engel trails primary challenger by 10 points: poll

A new poll shows Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelVoice of America not extending foreign journalists' visas: report New York candidates left on hold as primary results trickle in New Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries 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ballot — attorney Chris Fink, former New York Police Department officer Sammy Ravelo and Andom Ghebreghiorgis, who has withdrawn and backs Bowman — but none of them are expected to take a significant portion of the vote.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 SandersTrump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' Ex-Sanders campaign manager talks unity efforts with Biden backers The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida's coronavirus surge raises questions about GOP convention MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Progressive activist Ady Barkan endorses Biden, urges him to pick Warren as VP Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits MORE (D-Mass.), and from the rising stars of an emerging generation of progressive members of Congress like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHispanic Democrats build capital with big primary wins OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035 | Park Police did not record radio transmissions during June 1 sweep of White House protesters | Court upholds protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears Biden-Sanders 'unity task force' rolls out platform recommendations 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 ClintonTrump to visit Georgia next week Former NY Rep. Claudia Tenney to face Anthony Brindisi in House rematch Powell takes on Trump over Confederate flag 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 LoweyHouse Democrats push for resuming aid to Palestinians in spending bill House panel approves bill funding WHO, paring back abortion restrictions Democrats sidestep budget deal by seeking 0B in emergency spending 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 Bosher MaloneyNew York candidates left on hold as primary results trickle in New Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Nurses union warns of shortage in protective gear amid new coronavirus surge 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.