The poll was conducted last week, over a period of time that straddles the date of the president’s endorsement, so it doesn’t fully take into account the effect that endorsement might have on voters’ decision-making.
Former Rep. Michael Grimm is leading his Republican primary opponent, incumbent Dan Donovan, by 10 points in his hard-fought battle to win back his congressional seat, despite Donovan’s recent endorsement by President Donald Trump.
A new NY1/Siena poll shows Grimm winning against Donovan by 10 points, 47 to 37 percent in New York’s 11th Congressional District. Roughly 16 percent of likely voters don’t know who they’ll vote for. Because of the timing of the poll, it does not fully account for any effect the president’s endorsement last week may have had.
Grimm won his seat in 2010, and is trying for a comeback as a Trump-style populist after he resigned following a conviction for tax fraud in 2014.
That conviction has apparently not tempered Grimm’s popularity among Republicans on Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. The poll shows both candidates have identical favorability ratings – 57 percent of those polled said they approved of both Grimm and Donovan. But 46 percent of those polled said they felt Grimm had done a better job representing them in Congress than Donovan, while only 35 percent of those polled felt that way about Donovan.
The two men have fought over which candidate is closest to the president. Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci headlined a fundraiser for Grimm. But Donovan, who has tweeted photos of himself sitting next to the president’s lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, won Trump’s endorsement last week.
The president tweeted his support, writing that “There is no one better to represent the people of N.Y. and Staten Island (a place I know very well) than @RepDanDonovan, who is strong on Borders & Crime, loves our Military & our Vets, voted for Tax Cuts and is helping me to Make America Great Again. Dan has my full endorsement!"
Voters overwhelmingly thought Grimm would do a better job than Donovan of working with Trump. Fifty-four percent felt Grimm would work well with the president, while just 29 percent of those polled felt that way about Donovan.
The poll was conducted last week, over a period of time that straddles the date of the president’s endorsement, so it doesn’t fully take into account the effect that endorsement might have on voters’ decision-making. The president himself is wildly popular in the district – he enjoys an 82 percent approval rating among the GOP voters of the 11th District, which covers Staten Island and parts of South Brooklyn.
“I have full faith that the voters of Staten Island and Brooklyn know that I have their back. They know I love them like my own family, and I fight on their behalf," Grimm said in a statement. "I’ve done it before, and will do it again when I’m their Congressman in 2019.”
Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for Donovan, highlighted the poll numbers didn’t fully account for the Trump endorsement.
"President Trump dismantled Grimm’s deceitful campaign last week by throwing his full support behind Dan Donovan and urged voters to re-elect him," Proud said in a statement. "The methodology of this poll is suspect and the majority of voters were not aware yet of the President’s support. We’re going to make sure every Republican knows Dan is President Trump’s chosen candidate, and we’re confident that his support and Dan’s record of results will lead us to victory."
Just because voters like Grimm doesn’t mean they think he can win against a Democrat in November, though – voters favored Donovan 46-35 when asked which candidate they thought had a better shot at winning against a Democrat in a general election.
The poll, which was conducted May 29-31 and questioned 513 likely Republican voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
See the poll’s crosstabs here.
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