A NY1/Siena College poll showed tonight that Congressman Charlie Rangel is crushing his primary challenger, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, with just five days left in the race.
The poll showed Mr. Rangel with a 13-point lead among voters in the upper Manhattan and Bronx district where he has reigned since 1971, with a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. Mr. Rangel beat back a challenge from Mr. Espaillat in 2012 by just 2.6 points, or a little more than 1,000 votes–and a spread of 10 points or more is generally recognized as a landslide.
“With less than a week until voters go to the polls, the long-time incumbent appears to be holding off the challenger who’s making his second run,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
The survey, which asked 707 likely voters over the phone who they would vote for, found that Mr. Rangel enjoys a 70-point lead among black voters–trumping Espaillat’s 24-point lead with Hispanics–and widening the spread slightly from last month. Espaillat also enjoys an edge with voters under the age 50 and among Catholics, but not enough to give him the advantage in the race.
The poll showed dark horse candidates Pastor Mike Walrond and Yolanda Garcia drawing seven and four percent of the vote, respectively.
Mr. Espaillat’s team–which has benefited from several major recent endorsements–dismissed the results as not truly representative of the race.
“Polls don’t capture the strength of our ground game or the passion of our supporters. The 13th district is ready for change,” Chelsea Connor, a spokeswoman for the Espaillat campaign, said. “We’re confident that our broad coalition of support will bring us victory on Election Day.”
Mr. Rangel’s team, however, reveled in the revelation of widespread support.
“While the Congressman is not taking anything for granted, this poll demonstrates that voters agree that we can’t afford to lose the experience, record and seniority Congressman Rangel brings to the table,” said campaign adviser Hank Sheinkopf.