Embattled Congressman Michael Grimm is holding a lead, though just barely, against Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia, according to a new poll from NY1 / Capital New York/ Siena.
Grimm, who faces an embarrassing 20-count indictment on tax evasion and perjury charges, hold a four-point lead on Recchia among likely voters, with a 44-40 split. The poll’s margin of error is 4 percent, according to Capital New York.
The outlet reports:
“To see an incumbent six points below 50, that’s not a good sign,” said Steve Greenberg, a pollster for Siena College.
Grimm has the support of 73 percent of Republicans, and 27 percent of Democrats, and leads among independents, 47-33.
But 54 percent of voters said Grimm’s indictment makes them less likely to vote for the second-term congressman, including 39 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of voters who said they’re currently supporting Grimm.
“He cannot afford to lose a fifth of his voters right now,” said Greenberg.
… A near-majority of likely voters—49 percent—said they view Grimm unfavorably, compared to 39 percent who said they had a favorable opinion of him. Those opinions were split along party lines, with 60 percent of Republicans holding a favorable opinion of Grimm, and 30 percent unfavorable—numbers that were reversed among Democrats.
Predictably, Grimm is performing better in Staten Island, where the majority of the district’s voters live, while Recchia is outperforming the incumbent in Brooklyn, which the Democrat represented in the City Council.
Notably, nearly half of the district’s voters said they know little or nothing about Recchia.
Grimm faces criminal charges for tax evasion, fraud, conspiracy and illegal hiring practice, all in connection to an Upper East Side restaurant he once owned. The pol has denied wrongdoing.
Long before those charges, the congressman was dogged by probes of his fundraising for the 2010 campaign. While no charges were filed against the pol, two associates including an ex-girlfriend face charges.
His trial is scheduled for after the November elections.