George Latimer leads Rep. Jamaal Bowman by 17% in new poll

NEW YORK — George Latimer leads incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman by 17% in a new poll of their Democratic primary race in Westchester County-based NY-16 district.

The moderate Democratic challenger won 48% compared to 31% for Bowman in the Emerson College Polling/WPIX survey of voters in the June 25 primary.

The poll found 21% of voters are still undecided, highlighting the volatility of the race with early voting set to kick off a week from Saturday.

Latimer, who is the Westchester County executive, leads by even wider margins among older voters while Bowman holds a narrow lead among those under 40 years old.

Democratic voters in the deep blue district hold broadly favorable views of Latimer with 65% viewing him positively compared to just 23% negatively. Bowman is much more divisive with only a plus-9% favorability edge.

Several recent polls have showed Latimer with the edge in the closely watched race, in which Bowman’s harsh criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza has played a major role.

Bowman trashed Latimer for using what he called an anti-Arab “dog whistle” when the pro-Israel candidate said Bowman’s “constituency is Dearborn, Michigan” in a debate. The Detroit-area city includes the biggest Arab-American community in the nation.

Bowman, a former Bronx middle school principal and two-term incumbent, first won his spot in Congress by ousting longtime Rep. Eliot Engel in a primary. But the district has since shifted significantly to include more of suburban Westchester and less of the Bronx.

The newly drawn district includes significant Jewish communities who say Bowman is far too critical of Israel. Latimer has enjoyed strong support from pro-Israel donors and the right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

Bowman enjoys the backing of the progressive squad of lawmakers led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC Wednesday announced she will speak at an election-eve weekend rally for Bowman featuring progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont).