Four weeks before voters head to the polls, the race for the hotly-contested 15th Senate District in Queens is a virtual tie.
Incumbent State Senator Joe Addabbo is leading challenger Councilmember Eric Ulrich 45-43, according to a new Siena College poll. Twelve percent of voters remain undecided.
The difference between the candidates is well within the poll’s margin of error, 4.7 percentage points.
Addabbo sustains a five point lead in his current district, but in the district’s new areas, Ulrich has jumped out to a five point advantage. The district was redrawn during this year’s round of redistricting.
Despite a large Democratic advantage in voters — 54 percent to 21 percent — the district leans moderate. President Barack Obama holds just a three point lead over Mitt Romney in the district.
“There’s no question that the Democrats are going to have their hands full in trying to hold on to this seat,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.
Between September 6-18, Senate Republicans gave Ulrich nearly $330,000 in an effort to protect its Senate majority in the state.
Ulrich’s campaign said the poll was proof the incumbent’s campaign was a “fast-sinking ship.”
“For a career politician to perform so poorly proves that the more voters find out about his dismal record of failing small businesses and raising taxes over 100 times, the less likely it is he will be re-elected this November,” said Jessica Proud, a spokesperson for the campaign.
Addabbo, meanwhile, is confidant momentum is on his side.
“Over the next four weeks Senator Addabbo’s record of results and leadership will come into clear focus for all the voters in Senate District 15, and we will win this campaign,” said Jennifer Galvin, spokesperson for the Addabbo campaign.
Galvin added that she was not surprised by the poll numbers. “Senator Addabbo’s district was, after all, gerrymandered by the Senate Republicans, who have since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on amateurish, misleading negative mailers against Senator Addabbo.”
The number one issue in the district according to voters is job creation; that is followed by education, health care and property taxes. Among likely voters, Addabbo leads Ulrich on job creation, education and health care; Ulrich leads Addabbo on property taxes.
“While Addabbo is more known than Ulrich to voters, Ulrich has the better favorability rating… In other words, this figures to be a barn burner straight through to Election Day,” said Steven Greenberg.
Ulrich’s favorability rating was 42 percent with Addabbo at 40 percent.
The district includes parts of the Rockaways, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Forest Hills, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.
Four hundred twenty eight likely voters were included in the poll conducted between October 1-4.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.