Slaughter leads Brooks in Rochester congressional race

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Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter has widened her lead to 10 percentage points over Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks in the Rochester area race for New York’s 25th Congressional District, according to a Siena College poll released today.
Slaughter led Brooks 52 percent to 42 percent in the telephone survey of 624 likely voters Monday and Tuesday, one week prior to the Nov. 6 election.
That’s double the 5 percentage point lead of 49 percent to 44 percent Slaughter held in similar Siena survey conducted in mid-October.
The new poll is the third conducted by Siena in the redrawn 25th district covering most of Monroe County and all of the city of Rochester.
Slaughter currently represents an earmuff shaped district running along Lake Ontario between Rochester and Buffalo. That district and others around the state are being consolidated because New York is losing two of 29 House seats to other states with faster growing populations.
The new 25th District is Democratic-leaning, with President Obama leading Mitt Romney among likely voters by 13 percentage points, 53 percent to 40 percent.
Obama leads Romney among women voters by 23 percentage points, according to Siena, 57 percent to 34 percent. Slaughter has a somewhat smaller lead of 17 points over Brooks among women voters, 55 percent to 38 percent.
The first Siena poll in late September found Slaughter with the same 52 percent to 42 percent lead over Brooks that she now holds.
Although Brooks is a popular Republican county official, her favorability rating has fallen to 47 percent from 51 percent in September.
Slaughter also has dropped in favorability — although not as much — to 57 percent from 59 percent in September.
Both have been hurt by the negative campaign advertising that has included millions of dollars spent by the candidates and outside advocacy groups.
Slaughter spent $1.8 million of the $1.9 million she raised through Oct. 17, while Brooks spent $788,629 of the $1.3 million she raised through the same date, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Crossroads Media, which opposes Slaughter, reported spending more than $1.2 million on the race through last week.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, meanwhile, has spent more than $280,000 attacking Brooks.
One of the groups supporting Slaughter, called Stronger Together, recently said it has spent $44,100 on voter canvassing.
About 89 percent of the voters surveyed this week by Siena identified one or both of the candidates as waging a negative campaign.
Ten percent had no opinion. Only 1 percent rejected the suggestion that there has been negative campaigning.
The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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