Mike Lawler set to upset Sean Patrick Maloney in NY House race, poll shows

July 26, 2022

New York Post

By Carl Campanile

Republicans have a shot at stealing a New York congressional seat from Democrats — and knocking out their chief national campaign strategist to boot, a new poll shows.

Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler garners 46% support to 44% for incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman — a  statistical dead heat — in the survey conducted for Lawler by McLaughlin & Associates.

The poll comes in the court-ordered redrawn 17th congressional district that takes in New York City’s northern suburbs.

Lawler also is ahead of Bronx state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi — a progressive who is challenging the more moderate Maloney from the left and has the backing of socialist Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Aug. 23 primary — 47% to 41%, in a hypothetical general election matchup.

The district includes Rockland County and parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in the Hudson Valley.

“Mike Lawler is well positioned to beat both Sean Patrick Maloney and Alessandra Biaggi in the race for Congress. In 2020, Mike Lawler defeated an incumbent Democrat in a State Assembly district with a 2-to-1 Democrat enrollment advantage,” said pollster Jim McLaughlin.

“Mike is already winning 16% of Democrats and is beating both Maloney and Biaggi among independent voters.”

McLaughlin’s analysis finds that the national and state political environment is hurting Democratic candidates in this district, and President Biden in particular is an albatross for their election prospects.

“Voters are clearly dissatisfied with the Democrats and their failed policies which makes this district ripe for a Republican victory in November,” said McLaughlin, whose firm also does polling for GOP gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin, the Long Island congressman.

The internal GOP poll finds that 59% of all voters in the district disapprove of the job that Joe Biden is doing. 

Half of voters also have an unfavorable view of Hochul while 42% have a favorable impression.

An overwhelming 81% of voters say that the U.S. is off on the wrong track, only 12% say it’s heading in the right direction.

Meanwhile, 53% of voters prefer a Republican in Congress who will act as a check and balance against President Biden, compared to 41% who support the agenda of Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Maloney has been in the middle of the redistricting controversy.

The courts tossed out the congressional redistricting maps crafted by him and other Democrats who control New York state government as partisan gerrymandering. Critics called it the “Hochulmander” because Gov. Kathy Hochul approved the defective redistricting plan, which sought to favor Democrats over Republicans.

But the replacement maps drawn up by the courts created ill will because it potentially pitted Maloney against first-term Rep. Mondaire Jones. Instead of facing off against Maloney in a primary, Jones instead is running in the 10th Congressional district that takes in lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn — far from areas he now represents.

This poll of 400 likely general election voters in New York Congressional District 17 was conducted from July 19-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.