By Robert J. McCarthy
A new fundraising appeal for Republican Chris Collins' congressional candidacy claims he has opened a seven-point lead over Democrat Kathleen C. Hochul.
The Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted for the Collins campaign said the former Erie County executive has risen in the polls simultaneously with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The Collins fundraising appeal says Collins now leads Hochul 50 to 43 percent.
"Collins has reached 50 percent on the ballot and now leads Hochul by a seven-point margin," the funding appeal says. "He has solid intensity of support, with 37 percent of voters definitely choosing Collins, and 32 percent definitely choosing Hochul."
And in a category of the fundraising memo sent to GOP donors labeled "bottom line," well known Washington pollsters Glen Bolger and Jim Hobart say Collins is on the move.
"His support remains solid and incumbent Kathy Hochul has failed to improve her position since July," the memo says. "Collins has the momentum to win this election."
The Public Opion Strategies poll surveyed 400 likely voters on Oct. 10 and 11, and has a margin of error of 5 percent. A Siena College poll conducted for The Buffao News and WGRZ-TV approximately one week before (ahead of the first debate between Romney and President Obama) showed Hochul and Collins dead even at 47 percent.
Significantly, the new poll shows Romney expanding his lead in the 27th District over Obama -- 55 to 41 percent.
"Romney is well over the 50 percent mark and leads by a comfortable 14 points," the memo says. "This is a net seven-point improvement from September’s ballot of 49 to 42 percent."
The Collins email appeal for funds asks potential donors to "help him fight to keep his lead in the last few days of this election."