NEW YORK (PIX11) – Congressman Jerry Nadler this week surged ahead to a 9% lead in the Democratic primary that pits him against Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Attorney Suraj Patel, according to an exclusive PIX11/Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll released Friday.
The three candidates will face off on Tuesday during a debate airing on PIX11 and PIX11.com, in partnership with Hunter College.
Nadler got 40% of votes from very likely Democratic voters surveyed in the PIX11 poll. Maloney got 31% and Patel got 11%. About 17% of voters remained undecided.
The poll shows a dramatic shift from the previous PIX11/Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll. Nadler and Patel gained ground from the previous poll that showed Maloney with a 10-point lead.
After a contentious redistricting process earlier this year, the Democratic primary for New York’s 12th Congressional District became a battle for two powerful representatives – Nadler and Maloney – who have each served in Washington for about 30 years. The new district now includes Midtown along with the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Patel has previously run competitive races against Maloney.
Nadler gained momentum with Democratic men of NY-12, the PIX11 poll shows. He got 46% of male support, compared to 22% for Maloney, and 11% for Patel. Women were more evenly divided, with Maloney getting 38% of the support, Nadler with 36% and Patel with 12%. Nadler and Maloney have focused TV ad spending to target women within the last few weeks as the Aug. 23 primary approaches.
“What we’re seeing with Maloney, is she is not literally losing her vote, she’s not gaining any new support,” said Spencer Kimball, the director of Emerson College Polling. “So those numbers are staying pretty constant. The problem that she has is all those undecideds have shifted over to Nadler.”
The top issues shaping the race for NY-12 are guns and crime, identified as the priority of 27% of Democrats. It is followed by abortion at 21% and the economy and inflation at 13%.
President Joe Biden’s approval in NY-12 is significantly higher than in most other places in the country at 81% among Democrats. However, voters who were surveyed were evenly divided about if he should be the party’s nominee for president in 2024, with 51% wanting him to run again and 49% against him running again.
Biden’s approval and the issue of whether he should run again became a flash point in the race for NY-12. Maloney said during an NY1/WNYC debate on Tuesday that she did not think Biden would run again. She was scrutinized by Nadler and Patel for not supporting the president and she clarified the comment by saying she would be behind the president should he choose to run. The new PIX11 poll was conducted just prior to Maloney’s comments on Biden.
Unlike Biden, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has very low approval among NY-12 Democrats at only 25%.
The poll also found there is little consensus about the implementation of congestion pricing, which would impact about half the district beginning next year. About 45% of NY-12 Democrats support the plan, 34% oppose it and 21% said they were unsure.
The poll was conducted on Aug. 1-2 using a combination of IVR and SMS-to-web, and has a sample size of n=1,000 which has a margin of error of +/-3%.