Jack Martins trails by 1 in campaign poll

The Island Now

Republican Jack Martins trails his Democratic foe, Tom Suozzi, by less than one percentage point, according to a poll his campaign released Tuesday, indicating the 3rd Congressional District race may be tightening.

Suozzi, a former Nassau County executive from Glen Cove, leads Martins, an Old Westbury state senator,  43.2 percent to 42.6 percent in the North Shore district, giving Suozzi a lead well within the poll’s 3.97 percent margin of error.

Conducted by Ohio-based Clout Research, the poll surveyed 602 likely voters in the North Shore district on Oct. 16 and 17. It offers a stark contrast to a Newsday/News 12/Siena College poll conducted about two weeks earlier that showed Suozzi leading by 16 percentage points.

The apparent shift is a result of the Martins campaign’s aggressive media campaign aimed at slamming Suozzi while improving Martins’ name recognition, which both polls indicate is his chief obstacle in the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, said E. O’Brien Murray, Martins’s senior strategist. 

“The voters across the district are paying attention to this race and voting for Jack Martins, giving him the momentum to change this race,” Murray said. “Since the last poll the TV and digital ads have been running, the mail has hit and the voters are supporting Jack Martins.”

Martins’ campaign spent more than $300,000 on media from July through September, coupled with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ads the National Republican campaign committee ran against Suozzi.

Suozzi said in a recent interview that the race may be tightening, but his campaign questioned the legitimacy of the poll, noting that every other published poll shows Suozzi with a double-digit lead.

“After shopping around, and paying four different firms for four different polls, it’s evident that Martins finally found one that tells him what he wants to hear so he can use it to bolster his anemic fundraising,” Mike Florio, Suozzi’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

Clout Research was one of four polling firms to which Martins’ campaign paid a total of $34,202 from July to September, according to his most recent campaign finance filing. The firm received $4,500 in late August, ostensibly to conduct a poll of a potential GOP primary that Martins avoided through a protracted court battle.

In addition to the Siena College poll, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll in August and a Suozzi campaign poll in September showed Suozzi leading the race by 16 and 17 percentage points, respectively.

According to a ranking of pollsters by 538, a news website that specializes in data journalism, Clout Research polls show a GOP bias and correctly predict races 33 percent of the time, while Siena College shows a slight GOP bias and correctly predicts races 85 percent of the time.

By Noah Manskar

Share this Article