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New Poll in Hotly Contested Race for Westchester County Executive: Candidates Locked in Statistical Dead Heat Taxes Top Priority ‘Trump Effect’ Matters

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New Poll in Hotly Contested Race for Westchester County Executive: Candidates Locked in Statistical Dead Heat Taxes Top Priority ‘Trump Effect’ Matters

November 03, 2017 - 07:02

Robert P. Astorino

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WHITE PLAINS, NY -- In the only public poll conducted for one of the most closely watched races this season, incumbent Republican Rob Astorino and Democrat George Latimer are locked in a statistical tie for Westchester County executive.

In a just-released RNN and The Journal News/lohud.com poll, 51% of respondents say they would support Latimer and 49% would vote for Astorino if the election were held today.

TAXING ISSUES

Property taxes remain at the top of voters’ minds in Westchester County. More than four out of 10 (42%) cite property taxes as the most important issue as they head to the polls. Among them, almost three quarters (71%) said they will vote for Astorino, compared with just 21% who are supporting Latimer.

PERSONAL NOTE

Surprisingly, only 4% said the candidates’ personal issues – a hot topic in this race – will impact their vote.

TRUMP EFFECT

This race has captured the attention of the nation in an off-year election in large part because Astorino is seeking a third term in a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 48% to 27%. Despite the party imbalance, only two Democrats have been elected to the seat since its inception in the mid-1930s.

For these reasons, the County Executive race – like this year’s election for Governor of Virginia – is seen as a bellwether in regard to whether the impact of the 2016 election and the “Trump effect” will reverberate down to state and local levels.

The RNN/Journal News poll found the “Trump effect” is real in Westchester – almost half of respondents, 44%, say the Trump administration is a factor in how they will vote.

Of those who say President Trump is a factor, almost three quarters (71%) say they will support the Democrat, George Latimer, while 29% say they will support the Republican, Rob Astorino.

OTHER ISSUES

Following property taxes, 16% said the most important issue is gun shows at the Westchester County Center, 12% said jobs and the economy, and 9% cited affordable housing.

LOOKING AHEAD

Voters are almost evenly split when it comes to the direction Westchester is headed in, with slightly more than half saying they are dissatisfied (53%) and almost half saying they are satisfied (47%). 

ABOUT THE SURVEY

AppliedTechonomics Research (ATR) conducted this snap survey from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, 2017 throughout Westchester County. Responses are reported for 675 registered voters, more than 92% of whom self-identified as likely to vote, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 4 percentage points.

SURVEY RESULTS – at a glance

Likely to vote?

Response Frequency Percent
Yes 627 93%
No/Not Sure 48 7%

Satisfied/dissatisfied with direction Westchester County is headed in?

Response Frequency Percent (including “unsure”) Percent (excluding “unsure”)
Satisfied 274 41% 47%
Dissatisfied 314 47% 53%
Unsure 87 13% ----

Most important issue impacting vote

Response Frequency Percent (including “other”) Percent (excluding “other”)
Property Taxes 286 42% 47%
Jobs/Economy 79 12% 13%
Affordable Housing 61 9% 10%
Closing Indian Point 43 6% 7%
Gun shows Westchester County Center 108 16% 18%
Candidates’ Personal Issues 28 4% 5%
Other 70 10% -----

Did the Trump Administration have an impact on your vote?

Response Frequency Percent (including “unsure) Percent (excluding “unsure”)
Yes 294 44% 48%
No 318 47% 52%
Unsure 63 9% -----

Who support in election?

Response Frequency Percent (including “other”) Percent (excluding “other”)
Astorino 293 43% 49%
Latimer 307 46% 51%
Other 75 11% -----