By Robert J. McCarthy
Could Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, be facing a competitive race?
A new poll commissioned by the New York AFL-CIO shows Democrat Nate Shinagawa trailing incumbent Reed by just five points. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, has Reed at 49.7 percent and Shinagawa at 44.7 percent with 5.6 percent of voters undecided.
Shinagawa, an Ithaca hospital administrator and Tompkins County legislator, has conducted a relatively low-key campaign that some observers say is now picking up steam. Though it should be noted the new poll is backed by a group supporting the Democrat, AFL-CIO President Mario Celento said Shinagawa's "commitment to middle-class values" is the impetus behind his showing in the poll.
"We will build on this momentum and work as hard as ever in the final two weeks to help elect Nate Shinagawa to Congress," he said.
The poll had a sample size of 959 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percent.