Having been shut out of all but one of Upstate New York's congressional districts in 2009, Republicans picked up five seats in 2010, one of their most impressive hauls in a banner year for the party. But a new poll released Sunday shows the GOP may also have a chance this fall to knock out 13-term Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter, who is lagging President Obama's strong position in her Rochester-based district.
The Monroe County Voice of the Voter Poll, conducted by Siena College, shows Slaughter leading Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, 49 percent to 44 percent, within the poll's margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage points. Six percent of likely voters in the district are undecided. The poll was conducted in partnership with a number of Rochester media outlets: the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, WHAM-TV, WDKX-FM, and public broadcaster WXXI, which operates a PBS television channel and two public radio stations in Rochester.
Three weeks ago, a Siena College poll showed Slaughter with a 10-point lead, 52 percent to 42 percent. But the differences between the two surveys are not statistically significant.
Though Brooks runs within the margin against Slaughter, the district retains a strong Democratic lean. Its voters support Obama over Mitt Romney, 52 percent to 39 percent, virtually unchanged from the previous survey.
The poll was conducted Oct. 7-11, surveying 757 likely voters.