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Poll finds tight race to fill Santos’s New York House seat

Former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi (N.Y.) and Republican Mazi Pilip are locked in a tight race to fill the House seat formerly held by ex-Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), a poll showed Thursday.

The Newsday/Siena College poll showed Suozzi, a former congressman who previously represented the district for six years before Santos, leading Pilip by 4 points, 48 percent support to 44 percent, within the poll’s margin of error. Seven percent said they were undecided.

The finding is largely in line with an Emerson College poll released last month that found Suozzi leading by 3 points but still within the margin of error.

The race will determine which party will hold the seat that Santos vacated when he was expelled from the House in December. With the GOP holding a narrow majority of just a few seats in the House, the winner could have a significant impact on the rest of the session of Congress.

The Siena poll found that Suozzi and Pilip, a Nassau County legislator, hold similar favorability ratings. Suozzi was viewed favorably by 47 percent of voters and unfavorably by 45 percent, while Pilip was viewed favorably by 41 percent of voters and unfavorably by 43 percent.

But 16 percent of voters said they don’t know Pilip or have no opinion of her, while only 8 percent said the same about Suozzi.

Pollsters found voters in the poll prefer former President Trump to President Biden in a hypothetical 2024 general election match-up by 5 points, 47 percent to 42 percent. Respondents comfortably view both Trump and Biden unfavorably but Biden slightly more than Trump.

The poll found Suozzi ahead of Pilip in terms of whom voters trust to handle several specific issues, leading her by 9 points on protecting the country’s democracy, by 10 points on making Congress work more effectively, by 13 points on determining the level of U.S. aid to Ukraine and by 21 points on addressing abortion.

But Pilip was ahead by 9 points on addressing the influx of migrants into the country and by 3 points on establishing U.S. policy on the war between Israel and Hamas.

Don Levy, director of Siena College Research Institute, noted in a release that those who vote in a special election are among the most likely group of voters in the country.

The poll was conducted from Feb. 3 to 6 among 694 likely voters. The margin of error was 4.1 points.

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