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Poll: Hochul Hanging Tough in Western N.Y. Race Poll: Hochul Hanging Tough in Western N.Y. Race

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Poll: Hochul Hanging Tough in Western N.Y. Race

Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., and GOP challenger Chris Collins are still deadlocked just days from the election, a Siena College poll for two local media outlets found.

Collins took 48 percent and Hochul 47 percent in the poll, a statistically insignificant difference that showed no real change from two previous Siena polls of New York's 27th Congressional District. Collins and Hochul were essentially tied 47-47 in October and 47-45, respectively, in August. Hochul has maintained the tied race despite fighting some serious headwinds from the top of the ticket: Mitt Romney expanded his lead over President Obama in the district over the last month, from 51 percent to 42 percent in September to 55-42 now.

Siena College conducted the new poll for the Buffalo News and WGRZ-TV, surveying 636 likely voters on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.9 percentage points.

Hochul's unfavorable ratings have climbed sharply under an onslaught of GOP advertising against her, with a heavy emphasis on tying her to the unpopular president. Hochul's unfavorables started at 33 percent in August and went up to 39 in September and 48 percent now, one point higher than her favorability rating. Hochul has emphasized independence in her own ads and recently campaigned with two more popular Democrats: Bill Clinton, of whom 55 percent of likely voters approved in the poll, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has lent his personal popularity -- 69 percent in this district -- to several Democratic House nominees in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of those polled viewed Collins favorably, compared to 43 percent who viewed him unfavorably. That spread was 46-40 in October and 48-33 in August.

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