GOP Rep. John Faso narrowly trailed his Democratic opponent in a new poll on the neck-and-neck race in New York’s 19th District.
Democratic lawyer Antonio Delgado edged Faso 45 percent to 43 percent among potential voters, a new Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday found. However, that lead and others reported all fell within the poll’s margin of error.
Roll Call ranked Faso the sixth-most vulnerable House incumbent last week.
Delgado also held a 3-point edge in a likely voter model based on midterm turnout history and led by 6 points in another model that factored in a Democratic voting surge. Both leads were within their respective error margins.
“Faso has been trying to paint Delgado as a carpetbagger with a dubious past in rap music,” Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said. “It’s not clear that those attacks have taken hold, at least not enough to give the Republican an advantage,” Murray said.
Delgado has fended off attacks about an 18-track rap album he released under the artist name “AD the Voice” back in 2006, when he was 29.
In that album, he railed against the two-party system, voiced frustration about black poverty, and questioned U.S. military intervention in Iraq, often in explicit terms.
“It was different contexts, different tactics, but same desires and same outcomes,” Delgado told The New York Times in July. “Issues like income inequality, issues like gender equality, issues like the pollution of our environment and climate change — these are all issues that I talked about back then as an artist that I’m now talking about.”
Faso has criticized Delgado for his lyrics, saying in a statement in July that they “paint an ugly and false picture of America.”
Some in the Democratic party have expressed concern that a handful of left-leaning third-party candidates could skim votes away from Delgado. But Green Party nominee Steven Greenfield received support from just 1 percent of potential voters and the others received just 2 percent.
“Democrats were worried that a glut of left-leaning third party candidates would hurt Delgado’s chances,” Murray said. “That doesn’t seem to be the case right now, but it could be a factor if the race remains tight.”
Faso appeared to have a slight lead over Delgado in a different poll conducted by Spectrum News and Sienna College in late August.
President Donald Trump carried New York’s 19th District by 6.8 points in 2016, and Faso defeated his Democratic opponent by 9 points.
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race between Faso and Delgado a Tossup.