19TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT — President Donald Trump on Tuesday took to Twitter to endorse U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, who is in a close race with his Democratic opponent heading toward the Nov. 6 election.
“Congressman John Faso of New York has worked hard and smart. Strong on Crime, Borders and our 2nd Amendment, John is respected by all. Vote for John. He has my complete and total Endorsement!” Trump tweeted late Tuesday morning, along with Twitter-based endorsements in other races around the country.
As of 5 p.m., the post had been retweeted 7,900 times and liked more than 29,000 times, and there were more than 3,000 comments — many of them from Trump opponents mocking the president.
The presidential endorsement of an incumbent from his own party comes a day after a new Spectrum News/Siena College poll found Faso in a near-tie with his Democratic challenger, Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck.
The race has received other national attention, with millions of dollars being spent on television advertising by both sides. Faso is a longtime state politician seeking his second term in Congress, while Delgado, a Schenectady native, is an attorney and political newcomer who won a Democratic primary against a crowded field in June.
The poll overall shows Faso leading Delgado by 44 percent to 43 percent — well within the poll’s margin of error. Thirteen percent of voters said they were undecided or supported another candidate.
“Barnburner. Nail biter. Photo finish. Pick your phrase and buckle up, because this race is going right down to the wire,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
The poll found Faso with a 44-40 percentage point lead in the northern part of the 19th Congressional District, which includes Schoharie County, western Montgomery County and much of Rensselaer County. Delgado holds small leads in other parts of the district.
There’s a wide gender gap, though, with men preferring Faso by 53 percent to 34 percent, and women preferring Delgado by a 52 percent to 35 percent margin.
The race has been expensive for both sides. Through Sept. 30, Delgado has raised $6.6 million and spent more than $4.8 million, according to Federal Elections Commission filings. Faso had raised $3.3 million and spent just over $2 million.
Faso, however, has made up some of the fundraising gap in spending by political action organizations: The National Republican Campaign Committee, or NRCC, has spent more than $850,000 on ads attacking Delgado since mid-September, federal records show. The Congressional Leadership Fund, meanwhile, has spent well over $1 million in the 19th District race, most of it on ads that attack Delgado
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