Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) is neck-and-neck with his Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis in their battle for New York City’s only truly competitive congressional district, according to the first poll conducted in the high-stakes race.
Malliotakis, who currently serves as a GOP member of the State Assembly, leads Rose by a 48%-46% edge among likely voters in the 11th congressional district, which spans all of Staten Island and a sliver of southern Brooklyn, according to the NBC 4 New York/Marist College poll published Monday.
However, when accounting for registered voters in the district, Rose leads Malliotakis by a single point, the poll showed.
Making matters thornier, the survey has a 4.7% margin of error, meaning the findings should be taken with a grain of salt as they could swing wildly in either direction.
Still, both candidates cherrypicked the poll to put it in the most favorable light possible as Election Day loomed just eight days away.
Jonas Edwards-Jenks, a spokesman for Rose, said the survey showed the Democratic incumbent will win if there’s a big turnout.
“This election will come down to turnout — and right now the Malliotakis campaign is getting crushed,” Edwards-Jenks said. “Our internal data, along with the early and absentee returns, show record Democratic turnout."
Rob Ryan, a spokesman for the Malliotakis campaign, countered that the poll corroborated his side’s internal polling, which he said projects “an extremely tight race.”
“Max Rose is in deep trouble,” Ryan said. "The millions of dollars that Rose, Nancy Pelosi and special interest PACs are spending on deceptive negatives ads aren’t working.”
The 11th district has traditionally been Republican. It was the only district in the city that went for President Trump in 2016.
However, Rose, a 33-year-old U.S. Army veteran, unseated incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Donovan in the 2018 midterms and is hoping to cling onto the district by styling himself as a centrist Democrat with a propensity for reaching across the aisle.
Malliotakis, meanwhile, is a Trump-endorsed Republican who’s running a campaign characterized by the same type of rhetorical vitriol that the president relishes. She ran for higher office before, including a failed 2017 GOP bid for mayor.
The House is expected to remain under Democratic control after the Nov. 3 election.
The Dems control the lower chamber by a 232-197 edge, and there are only 26 races that are considered potential tossups — Rose’s being one of them, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
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