Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), under federal indictment after allegedly engaging in insider trading and lying to investigators, is locked in a close race for reelection in his heavily Republican Buffalo-area district, a new poll finds.
Three weeks from Election Day, Collins leads Democrat Nate McMurray, 46 percent to 43 percent, according to a Spectrum News-Siena College poll of likely voters in New York’s 27th Congressional District released Tuesday.
The poll result falls in the margin of error in a district that is home to more than 40,000 more Republicans than Democrats and where a solid majority of voters would like to see Republicans maintain control of Congress.
“New York has certainly seen its fair share of indicted officeholders being reelected,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “It remains to be seen whether this will be another example or not.”
In the aftermath of his indictment, Collins is viewed unfavorably by 49 percent of likely voters, while 37 percent view him favorably.
Collins has represented the district, which encompasses suburban and rural areas stretching east of the Buffalo metropolitan area, since 2013. McMurray, a lawyer and local official in the Buffalo suburb of Grand Island, has said he received a spike in donations after Collins’s indictment.
Federal prosecutors charged Collins in August with 11 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators.
Collins served as chairman of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australia-based pharmaceutical firm that had undertaken a high-stakes drug trial. In June 2017, according to prosecutors, Collins learned in his capacity as chairman that the trial had failed, then tipped off his son, allowing the son and other family members to avoid more than $700,000 in losses by selling their stakes before the news was made public.
Collins is one of two indicted Republican members of Congress on the ballot next month.
Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.) and his wife face charges of using campaign funds to pay for family vacations and other personal expenses. Both Hunter and Collins are also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.