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Campaign Notebook: Altschuler Leads in Super PAC Poll

Latest poll funded by Prosperity First shows Republican candidate up three percentage points.

In the latest poll released in the race for New York's First Congressional District seat, a survey funded by Prosperity First – a conservative super PAC – shows Republican challenger Randy Altschuler three points ahead Rep. Tim Bishop.

The results of the survey were released on Saturday, showing that 49 percent of the 400 individuals polled would vote for Altschuler, compared to 46 percent for Bishop, as the two face off in a rematch of the 2010 election. Two years ago, Bishop defeated Altschuler by 593 votes out of nearly 200,000 ballots cast.

Of those polled, 39 percent said they were registered as Republicans, and 30 percent Democrats; 18 percent claimed no political affiliation. Pollsters Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, Inc. said the margin of error in the poll was 4.9 percent.

In recent months, both Bishop and Altschuler have claimed success in separate polls. Most recently, a Siena Poll released in mid-September showed Bishop up 13 points – however a poll released by Siena University in 2010 showed the Democrat up 12 percentage points in a race that ended up being decided by less than half a percent.

The two sides each released polls in July as well; a poll by Democratic firm Garin Heart Young showed Bishop up 56 to 32 percent, while the Altschuler camp released a poll five days later showing their candidate with a four-point lead.

“Make no mistake, this will be a close race," said a Bishop spokesman in a statement following the last poll.

Saturday's poll was just the latest in a frenzy of investments – from both inside and outside the district – made to win the seat. Prosperity First's largest donor, Setauket hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, has donated $500,000 to the super PAC. Meanwhile, according to a Newsday article, the Communication Workers of America's super PAC has spent over $200,000 in recent ads supporting Bishop while the House Majority PAC has spent over $300,000.

According to Newsday, $2.25 million has been spent in this year's race so far compared to $1.08 million last year.

Romaine Leads Supervisor Fundraising Race

In the race for Brookhaven Town's vacant supervisor seat, Republican Ed Romaine held more than three times the cash as his opponent, Democrat Brian Beedenbender.

Campaign finance statements show that Romaine, a Suffolk legislator representing eastern Brookhaven and the North Fork, held nearly $143,000 in cash with just over a month out. Beedenbender, chief of staff to the former supervisor, held about $44,000.

Romaine and Beedenbender are vying for the supervisor seat vacated by Mark Lesko, who left Brookhaven in September to head Accelerate Long Island after winning re-election last November.

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