Newsday/Siena College poll shows 48 percent of voters support Mr. Suozzi compared to 44 percent for Ms. Pilip.
On the day the Congressional District 3 (CD-3) candidates debated each other on News 12, a new poll found that Republican candidate Mazi Pilip is trailing Democratic candidate Tom Suozzi by four points; however, conservative supporters in the Long Island district are unwavering in their belief that their underdog candidate will win.
The Newsday/Siena College poll determined that 48 percent of voters support Mr. Suozzi compared to 44 percent for Ms. Pilip. Seven percent were undecided.
“It’s embarrassing for Suozzi to only be four points ahead of a newcomer,” Arlene Schlesinger, a supporter of Ms. Pilip, told The Epoch Times. “Four points speaks volumes about his accomplishments in office. Mazi is young. She’s unique and she has passion, which Tom Suozzi lost ages ago.”
Ms. Pilip and Mr. Suozzi are running to replace disgraced former CD-3 Rep. George Santos (R-NY) whom Congress expelled on Dec. 1, 2023.
The Feb. 13 special election for the representative of CD-3, spanning Nassau County and a part of Eastern Queens, is less than a week away.
“They use a different universe,” Peter King, a former Republican congressman from New York, told The Epoch Times when asked about the Newsday poll. “We think they put more Democrats into their poll than Republicans.”
Mr. King was one of some 150 people who attended Ms. Pilip’s ‘Watch Mazi Win Party’ at the North Valley Stream GOP Club in Franklin Square, New York on Thursday night.
Fans of Ms. Pilip viewed the debate on mounted big screens while eating free pizza.
The two candidates discussed issues such as abortion, inflation, anti-semitism, gun reform, and border security.
“I don’t trust the polls,” Ernie Weber, 65, who lives in Franklin Square, told The Epoch Times. “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.”
The News 12 town hall debate was moderated by Rich Barrabi, co-anchor of Mornings on News 12 and host of Power & Politics. It is the only debate that Ms. Pilip agreed to.
“You have said that the Supreme Court made the right decision by outlawing abortion in the United States of America and putting it back to the states,” Mr. Suozzi said during the debate. “Right now, in many states throughout the United States of America, abortion is completely banned.”
Ms. Pilip, who is a married mother of seven children, argued that abortion is a personal choice.
“I have stated again and again that I am a staunch defender of women’s rights and that I would never vote to cut funding to social security or any other source of funding for women’s medical health care choices,” she said. “I have steadfastly maintained that I will oppose a national abortion ban in Congress.”
While Mr. Suozzi accused his opponent of avoiding specifics and delivering an erratic performance, Ms. Pilip described Mr. Suozzi as desperate to win the election.
“I held him accountable for all the things he did … not to secure our borders, all the lies, and empty promises,” Ms. Pilip said after the debate to her supporters at the watch party. “I made it clear that he’s a talker and I’m a person of action. I love to deliver. This election is about protecting our country.”
The first poll, conducted by PIX11/Emerson College and released on Jan. 18, determined that Mr. Suozzi garnered the approval of 45 percent of respondents while Ms. Pilip collected the support of 42 percent. Nine percent were undecided.
Since then, Politico reported that more Democrats than Republicans had cast ballots in the first three days of Nassau County’s early voting.
Out of 23, 578 ballots cast on Feb. 6, 10,160 were Democrats and 8,153 were Republicans. Unaffiliated voters accounted for 4,404 of the votes cast.
Jonathan Davis, a GOP volunteer who lives in Hempstead, is undeterred by the polls. The 42-year-old is a staunch believer in Ms. Pilip.
“I have enough confidence that she’s going to win because we’re going to do our job,” Mr. Davis told The Epoch Times. “She’s going to make sure she gets the word out about herself and we’re going to earn the citizen’s right to vote because we have the right plan. We’re going to make sure that plan is heard.”
Dennis Blake, a retired Valley Stream resident and lifelong Republican, isn’t surprised that Mr. Suozzi is leading the polls because he has name recognition.
“He’s been around a long time,” Mr. Blake told The Epoch Times. “He’s a former congressman and county executive so he should rightfully be the favorite but Mazi has a lot of support and I think she’s going to get a lot of Democrats voting for her because of the issues.”
Nassau County Republican Party chairman Joe Cairo urged everyone at the debate afterparty to watch a new TV advertisement that is slated to air during Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The Secure New York State Political Action Committee (PAC) paid $1.35 million for the half-minute promo.
“The Super Bowl will be watched by hundreds of thousands of people in Nassau County and they’re going to love it,” Mr. Cairo told The Epoch Times. “Many of them will vote for Mazi in the district and with Taylor Swift dating Travis Kelce, lots of women are going to watch the Super Bowl and it will have a very positive impact for Mazi.”
A dozen New York City and Nassau County Police Unions are expected to announce today that they will endorse Ms. Pilip.