From the Morning Memo:

Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle holds a 17-point lead over Republican Jim Maxwell in the NY-5 race with just weeks remaining before voters head to the polls, according to a new Spectrum News/Siena College Research Institute poll released this morning.

Siena surveyed 465 likely voters between Oct. 4 and Oct. 8.

Morelle’s lead, while considerable, has actually decreased by 7 points from the last poll in late August, but pollster Steve Greenberg said it remains significant nonetheless, and also difficult to surmount for a largely unknown Republican opponent.

According to Greenberg, Morelle’s success can be attributed to several factors – including the Democratic enrollment advantage in the district and name recognition. In addition, Morelle is a long-time state legislator with a considerable voting record, the current Assembly majority leader and former Monroe County legislator and county Democratic committee chairman.

“He’s campaigned many, many times throughout the district so voters know him. It’s not just that they know the name. A lot of voters in Monroe County know who he is,” Greenberg said.

“Morelle is continuing to do a much better job holding onto his base. Eighty-one percent of Democrats say they’re with  Morelle, compared to Maxwell, who only 64 percent of Republicans say they’re with Maxwell right now.”

Both candidates actually have a positive favorability rating. However, nearly half of those polled either hadn’t heard of Maxwell or didn’t know enough about him to have an opinion.

By contrast, more than three quarters of respondents had an opinion on Morelle.

Greenberg said the numbers aren’t particularly surprising in a district which, in general, is in favor of a Democratically-controlled House and against President Donald Trump.

“(Trump’s) not as badly under water in this district as in many of the other districts we’ve seen,” Greenberg said. “Right now, 40 percent approve of the president’s job performance 55 percent disapprove, 15 point margin.  Morelle leads in the congressional race by 17 points so it’s pretty consistent.”

There is no incumbent in the race because long-time Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter passed away earlier this year. Morelle won a four-way Democratic primary to succeed her in June.

Meanwhile, Maxwell announced his candidacy in January, prior to the congresswoman’s death.

Voters will actually vote twice in November, the second time for a special election which will allow the candidate to take office right away this year in Slaughter’s place, serving out the remainder of her term until the end of December.

Spectrum News/Siena Poll NY-25 by on Scribd