TWC News/Siena College Poll: Dead Heat In NY-19

Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout are in a virtual tie in the race for the 19th congressional district in the Hudson Valley, a Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll found.

The poll released Tuesday night shows Faso, a former Assembly minority leader, drawing 43 percent of the vote, with Teachout receiving 42 percent of support.

The results are not wholly unexpected: The 19th congressional district is considered one of the key battleground House races in New York and already is drawing a heavy rotation in television advertising for both candidates.

But the poll results underscore the unsettled nature of the race an open congressional seat that’s being vacated by Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican.

Both Faso and Teachout are known quantities in some regard.

Faso, a longtime state lawmaker turned lobbyist, ran for governor as the Republican nominee in 2006. The poll found 32 percent of voters hold a favorable view of him, while 30 percent do not. Teachout, who ran for the Democratic nomination for governor against incumbent Andrew Cuomo in 2014, has a 36 percent to 25 percent favorable rating.

But a large swath of voters — nearly 40 percent — have not heard enough about either candidate to form an opinion with six weeks to go before Election Day.

Though the race is considered a tossup, Republicans fare better in other races.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton in the district by 5 percentage points, 43 percent to 38 percent.

And while Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a comfortable lead over his little known Republican challenger Wendy Long, it is more narrow in the 19th district than in broader statewide polls.

At the same time, most voters in the district by a margin of 46 percent to 41 percent want Republicans to retain control of the House of Representatives this November.

So, why does Faso still struggle to overcome Teachout in the race?

The answer lies with independent voters: Faso and Teachout are tied with those not registered as Democrats or Republicans, 42 percent to 41 percent, the poll found.

At the same time, the poll shows these voters lean conservative. Among the independent voters polled, 66 percent support Second Amendment rights, 56 percent back repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and on the role of the federal government, 53 percent believe it should less its burden on businesses.

The poll of 678 likely voters was conducted from Sept. 20 through Sept. 22. It has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

CD190916 Crosstabs938 by Nick Reisman on Scribd

NY-19: Faso Rips Teachout For Tax Cap Opposition

Republican congressional candidate John Faso on Tuesday criticized his Democratic opponent for opposing the state’s tax cap on property.

The Faso campaign released a 3-second video featuring Teachout at an undated forum saying she opposes the cap.

The measure, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011, limits the amount of money local taxing entities — including schools, counties and other local governments — can raise each year through their levy. The cap has typically stood below 2 percent increases given the low rate of inflation.

“It’s easy to oppose a property tax cap when you’ve never had to pay property taxes,” Faso said in a statement, referring to a 2014 story in which Teachout acknowledged an error in her property taxes.

“Her radical vision and view that if property owners would just pay a little more, government could solve any number of problems is simply out of touch. High taxes are part of the problem. Professor Teachout is clueless about living in Upstate New York and the burden property taxes impose on homeowners and small businesses.”

Though popular with property owners who face the country’s highest property taxes in New York, the cap itself has been controversial for schools and local governments, who have pushed for changes to the law, such as eliminating the rate of inflation provision.

Teachout challenged Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014.

Given the cap is a state law, however, it’s unlikely a member of Congress would have much practical power in overturning or changing the cap.

Teachout Ad No. 2 (She’s On A Boat!) UPDATED

Democratic NY-19 candidate Zephyr Teachout’s second TV ad of the general election campaign features the candidate riding in a boat on the Hudson River and accusing her Republican opponent, John Faso, of “selling out” to corporate interests and Wall Street billionaires who “wrecked out economy.”

Teachout obliquely mentions the need to clean up both politics and this still-polluted river, which is lined with communities struggling with the lack of jobs. She doesn’t mention anything specific – like, say, the push by the administration led by her 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary opponent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for the EPA to force GE to continue dredging, arguing that the years-long clean-up job didn’t actually leave the river clean enough.

No word from the Teachout campaign on when this goes on the air, for how long or the size of the buy. Here’s the full script:

“From the Hudson River, you can see a lot of what’s wrong with our country. I’m Zephyr Teachout. At one end is Albany, where politicians like my opponent sold out to corporate interests. At the other end are the Wall Street billionaires who wrecked our economy. ”

“My opponent worked for them too. In between are strong communities on a still-polluted river struggling with the lack of jobs. I’ve fought against corruption my entire career. Now I’m running for Congress and I approved this message because we need to clean up politics and this river.”

UPDATE: According to the campaign, this ad went on the air today, and will be running on cable. The buy is “large” across the district, according to Teachout spokeswoman Alexis Grenell.

Oliva Tars Maloney With Clinton Email Scandal

Republican NY-18 candidate Phil Oliva is jumping on the Hillary Clinton email scandal bandwagon, but with a twist – he’s trying to pull his Democratic opponent, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a former top aide to ex-President Bill Clinton, into the mess.

A TV ad being used by Oliva as a fundraising tool features footage of the congressman with the former First Lady-turned-presidential-contender – including him introducing her at an event as his “friend and personal hero” and proudly announcing that he was at one point a member of “Hillaryland.”

This is juxtaposed with news reports about the scandal that has been dogging Clinton about her use of a private email server in her Westchester County home while she was serving as secretary of state in the Obama administration, and video of Maloney insisting that Clinton is “very trustworthy” and has “high integrity.”

Maloney, who was first elected to represent the Hudson Valley district in 2012, defeating then-incumbent GOP Rep. Nan Hayworth, has long used his experience in the (Bill) Clinton White House as a selling point.

The former president and his wife, now running to replace him in the White House, have made appearances on Maloney’s behalf over the years to assist him with his congressional campaigns.

The tagline: “We know Sean Patrick Maloney idolizes Hillary, but we need a congressman willing to stand up for us: Phil Oliva.”

NY-18 is an evenly divided district that has changed hands between Republicans and Democrats several times over the past few election cycles. Maloney has gone to great lengths to demonstrate his ability to work across the aisle, and routinely touts his support from local Republicans, even though he has never shied away from being a Clinton loyalist.

The race is not considered among the more competitive House contests in New York, and NY-18 is listed as “solid Democratic” by The Cook Political Report. Nevertheless, Oliva, who works for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and is also a former aide to the Assembly minority, is giving this run his all.

Gibson Stars In Faso Ad

Retiring Rep. Chris Gibson has made a point during his tenure in the House to try to appeal to a wide range of constituents by adopting a pragmatic approach in D.C. – even when his won conference has leaned steadily to the right.

As a result, Gibson is popular in his closely divided district (NY-19). He won an easy re-election there two years ago against his Democratic opponent, political newcomer Sean Eldridge; and also in 2012 against former Ulster County Democratic Chairman Julian Schreibman, despite the fact that redistricting had skewed the district southward, making it more Democrat-dominated.

Gibson declined to take sides in the GOP primary battle for his seat, which he is vacating at the end of the year, but has since endorsed the winner of that fight, former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso.

Now Gibson, who is giving up politics altogether for a life in academic, is trying to transfer some of his popularity to his would-be successor, starring in a new TV ad on his behalf.

The ad was released today, and, according to an accompanying press release, highlights Faso’s “long-standing commitment to his community” – a dig at his Democratic opponent, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout, who only recently moved into the district – and his “friendship” with the retiring congressman, who, as it turns out, lives right down the street from Gibson and his family.

Here’s the script for the ad, which will run on cable television and digital outlets throughout the district, as well as broadcast television in the Albany market. No immediate details on the size of the buy were provided.

Gibson: I’m retiring from Congress but I don’t have to go far to find the right person to keep representing us.

John Faso, he’s not only a friend… he’s my neighbor.

He and his wife Mary Frances raised their family in this house down the street from mine.

John pushed for the property tax cap and helped pass the STAR program.

He gets results for taxpayers.

Okay over to you John.

Faso: Thanks Chris. I’m John Faso, and I approve this message.

NY-19: Teachout Prefers ‘Professor’ Over ‘Lobbyist’

Democratic congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout on Monday released a web video that outlines her view of corruption in politics.

At the same time, Teachout used the video to respond to how Republican John Faso and her campaign refer to her as “professor” — a means of portraying her as an ivory tower academic.

“I’d rather be called Professor, than lobbyist,” Teachout says in the video, a reference to Faso’s post-government work as a lobbyist for an Albany-based law firm.

The video features Teachout knocking the “revolving door” of lobbyists and government officials, which she says has come at the expense of clean water, infrastructure and “working families.”

NY-19: Teachout Touts Faso’s Poll

Democratic congressional hopeful Zephyr Teachout on Tuesday took the unusual step of touting her Republican opponent John Faso’s own poll.

In a fundraising email, Teachout’s campaign pointed to the poll conducted by the McLaughlin Group for Faso’s campaign that found the former Assembly minority leader ahead 46 percent to Teachout’s 41 percent.

“That’s pretty incredible,” wrote campaign manager Kim Maier. “Our opponent — backed by big corporations, special interests and Super PACs — is ahead only within the margin of error in his own poll that he’s showing to press.”

In the email, Teachout’s campaign urges $3 contributions ahead of Wednesday’s reporting deadline.

“Now it’s up to our grassroots movement to close the gap,” she wrote. “We’re making great progress towards our goal of raising $100,000 by our deadline of Wednesday at midnight, but we’re still short.”

The 19th congressional district is a Republican-leaning House seat, though has been a battleground district in recent election cycles. Teachout’s campaign could benefit from an increase in Democratic voters heading to the polls this year.

Republican Rep. Chris Gibson is retiring after three terms this year.

NY-19: Teachout Marries

Democratic congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout on Saturday wedded a software company principal in a private ceremony, her campaign announced.

Teachout and her husband Nick Juliusburger were married in a small ceremony with friends and family in Dover Plains. The Rev. Megan Sanders of the St. Paul’s episcopal church officiated.

“We are thrilled and grateful to share our commitment to each other with those closest to us, and the community we love,” the couple said in a statement.

She is back on the campaign trail after the ceremony.

Juliusburger is a principal at Yellowish Software, specializing in software interface design.

The couple own a home together in Clinton.

Teachout is running for the 19th congressional district in the Hudson Valley against Republican John Faso.

NY-19: Faso Unveils 2nd TV Ad

Republican John Faso’s congressional campaign on Thursday released its second TV ad of the general election campaign that focuses on the candidate’s economic platform.

The 30-second ad, which comes days after the first spot which highlighted a softer touch on the candidate’s frugality, sought to shine a light on Fasos’s push to back tax and regulatory reform and his endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business, announced earlier in the day.

“He knows the challenges forcing our young people to leave, as families and small businesses struggle,” the ad’s narrator states. “John will work to keep the jobs we have and get the economy growing.”

Faso is running for the 19th congressional district, which is being vacated by Rep. Chris Gibson. He faces Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout.

NY-19: Teachout Talks Climate Change On Irene Anniversary

Democratic congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout on Wednesday released a 2-minute video commemorating the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Irene which battered parts of the upstate region.

Her message: “We are not ready for the next Irene.”

Namely, the once-a-century storm is now happening with more frequency. And Teachout says climate change is to blame for the increase in devastating storms. She calls for a scaling back of fossil fuel usage as well as infrastructure investment, especially when it comes to water infrastructure.

“Let’s right now invest and actually repair our basic water infrastructure,” she says in the video.

Teachout is running for the Hudson Valley congressional district being vacated by Rep. Chris Gibson. She faces Republican John Faso in November.