Posted by Ashley Houghton on June 25, 2021 at 1:09 PM

For Immediate Release

Press Contact:
Ashley Houghton, Communications Director
FairVote
[email protected]
301-793-6604

New Poll of Staten Island Republicans: Borough President and City Council District 50 Races Too Close To Call

New Ranked Choice Voting Poll Shows Republicans Embrace Ranking Candidates, Supermajority (70%) Find Ranked Choice Voting “Easy” or “Very Easy”

Friday, June 25 –FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for better elections, shared the results today of a new survey conducted by Citizen Data and FairVote. Citizen Data, in partnership with FairVote, polled 400 Republican likely primary voters in Staten Island regarding their preferences in the city council district 50 election and borough president election on June 22. The survey was in the field from June 18th through the 19th (notably, the same day Donald Trump endorsed Staten Island borough president candidate Vito Fossella).

The findings, which are also available on FairVote’s website and as a report, indicate the following top-line trends:

  • David Carr has an advantage for city council, but there is still a path to victory for other candidates. The survey correctly predicted David Carr would have a single-digit lead among first-choice preferences in district 50. FairVote’s ranked choice voting simulation model suggests that David Carr has a 63% chance of victory, while both Pirozzolo and Kepi have a smaller chance.
  • Trump endorsement shakes up borough president primary: Unlike the District 50 contest and another recent Citizen Data survey in the Democratic mayoral primary, borough president poll results missed a major candidate surge: that of Vito Fossella, who was endorsed by former president Donald Trump on June 19. Not only had FairVote’s survey closed on the day of the endorsement, but only 11% of survey respondents reported that they had already voted, which means  the vast majority had the potential to change their opinions after the Trump endorsement. Based on first choice results, that contest is a tossup between Fossela and poll frontrunner Steven Matteo.
  • Republican voters responded well to RCV. Respondents on average ranked more than half of the candidates in both contests, a supermajority found RCV easy (70%), and more respondents said ranking candidates would make them more likely than less likely to vote. This was particularly true among Hispanic respondents, where 36% said RCV would make them more likely to vote compared to 8% who said less likely.

"The survey helps underscore how ranked choice voting is being embraced across New York,” noted Rob Richie, CEO and President of FairVote. “While Democrats have gotten the lionshare of attention for using RCV in their primaries, Staten Island Republicans clearly are embracing ranked choice voting as well."

"Support for reforms like ranked choice voting has been increasing in our surveys, including among Republicans,” added Mindy Finn, CEO of Citizen Data. “This is all the more reason to ensure polls capture all voters’ views and can simulate candidates’ preferences as ranked choice voting takes off across the country.”

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