State Sen. Jack Martins leads Democratic opponent Adam Haber by 25 points in the race for New York’s 7th Senate District, according to a Newsday/News 12/Siena College poll released Wednesday.
Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Martins (R-Mineola), a two-term incumbent, while 31 percent said they would vote for Haber, an East Hills businessman. Fourteen percent were undecided.
The poll was conducted with 441 likely voters on Sept. 28-29, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. To see more results, click here.
Who would you vote for today between Adam Haber and Jack Martins?
Martins is backed by 82 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents/third-party voters. Poll results show Haber has the support of 53 percent of Democrats, nine percent of Republicans, and 30 percent of independents/third-party voters.
“Not only is Martins at this point doing a fantastic job of getting support among his Republican base, he gets a third of all Democrats, and more than half of independents — that is a strong coalition,” said Donald P. Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute.
Levy said Haber, a Roslyn school board member who ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for Nassau County executive last year, has “certainly got a big hill to climb in terms of name recognition.”
Martins’ spokesman E. O’Brien Murray said in a statement that the results “show the voters know as a husband and father of four girls, Senator Martins knows what matters to Nassau families. He has worked hard to cap property taxes and lower income taxes for the middle class, created jobs, delivered more state aid for schools, and make life better for Nassau County residents.”
What is the most important issue you want your state senator to be working on in Albany?
Haber spokesman Jacob Tugendrajch said that the results come as “campaign season is just getting started” and that Haber has more time to connect with undecided voters.
“As TV ads and direct mail balance out over the last month of the campaign, Nassau voters will see that Adam Haber’s message of lower taxes, women’s rights and fully funded schools are the clear choice for this district,” Tugendrajch said.
The poll found that Martins has higher name recognition than Haber: 55 percent of respondents said they were unaware of Haber or had no opinion on his candidacy, compared with 35 percent who had no opinion about Martins.
Addressing the name-recognition issue, Levy said, “We have seen these races change from September to Election Day. Certainly Haber has an opportunity; there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in the district. . . . Martins won his last race by not a large margin, but he’s done what appears to be a good enough job to endear himself to most voters.”
Property taxes were the top issue among respondents, with 29 percent calling it the most important issue lawmakers in Albany needed to address — 18 percent said job creation; 14 percent said education and 11 percent said state taxes.
Thomas Jannazzo , a Franklin Square Republican, said he planned to vote for Martins because he has met him at several community events.
“He’s an honest, down-to-earth guy,” said Jannazzo, 46, a former restaurant manager who is currently on disability leave following a back injury. “He takes the time to listen to people and their problems.”
Vijay Goswamy, 68, a retired health care administrator who lives in Hicksville, said that as a Democrat, he plans to vote for Haber after meeting him at a local Indian-American festival in August. “He was very approachable,” Goswamy said.
The Senate has been under the bipartisan control of the chamber’s Republicans and five Democrats who broke from party ranks in 2011 to form the Independent Democratic Conference.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they favor keeping that coalition in control, while 23 percent said they would like to see Republicans in control, and 13 percent favored Democrats regaining full control.
The district covers central Nassau and North Shore communities, including Mineola, Hicksville and Port Washington.