Poll Shows Tight Race In Special Election For George Santos Congressional Seat

New polling is showing a tight race ahead of New York’s special election to fill George Santos’ vacant House seat.

Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip and former New York Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip and former New York Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Mazi Melesa Pilip; US House

An Emerson College/PIX11 poll of 3rd District voters released Thursday, Jan. 18, shows Democrat Tom Suozzi narrowly leading Republican Mazi Pilip 45 percent to 42 percent.

Five percent of voters want someone else for the job while nine percent are still undecided, the poll found.

The 3rd District seat – which represents parts of Nassau County and Queens – has sat vacant since Santos was ousted in a historic vote in December 2023 amid mounting federal criminal charges.

Since then, the district’s nearly 771,00 constituents have found themselves without a voice in the House.

Suozzi previously held the seat before resigning in 2022 to launch an ultimately unsuccessful campaign for New York governor.

A majority of those “very likely” to vote in the special election favor him over Pilip 51 to 37 percent, the poll found. He also leads Pilip among college-educated voters 48 to 44 percent.

Pilip, a member of the Nassau County Legislature, leads among voters whose highest degree is high school or less, 53 to 30 percent, according to the poll.

She also leads among the district’s white voters 49 to 40 percent, and 44 to 33 percent among Hispanics, while Suozzi leads among Asian voters 60 to 25 percent, the poll showed.

Researchers also asked respondents about their stance on the United States giving aid to Israel. Suozzi voters support the move 42 to 37 percent, while Pilip voters support aid 81 to 8 percent.

For Ukraine aid, Suozzi backers supported it 73 to 15 percent, while Pilip voters oppose it 45 to 27 percent.

Overall, 60 percent of voters support the US giving aid to Israel, while 24 percent were opposed. That’s compared to 51 percent who support aid to Ukraine and 30 percent who are opposed, the poll showed.

When asked about their key issues heading into the election, immigration is the most important issue to 26 percent of voters, followed by the economy (22 percent), crime, (15 percent), housing affordability (12 percent), “threats to democracy” (9 percent), education (5 percent), healthcare (4 percent), and abortion access (4 percent).

Voters who said immigration is their top priority backed Pilip over Suozzi 68 to 17 percent, while voters who said the economy broke for Suozzi 50 to 42 percent.

The Emerson College/PIX11 poll was conducted between Saturday, Jan. 13 and Monday, Jan. 15 with 975 registered voters.

The special election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024.

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