Democrat Tom Suozzi leads Republican Mazi Pilip by a razor-thin margin in a poll released Monday night, just hours before a special election to replace expelled Long Island congressman George Santos.
The new poll obtained exclusively by The Post showed Suozzi in the lead by just 1 percentage point with 46% support in New York’s third district race compared to Pilip’s 45% backing.
Nine percent of respondents remain undecided in the hotly-contested race.
The survey of 500 likely voters was conducted by polling firm J.L. Partners and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points, indicating a dead heat ahead of Tuesday’s election.
The firm queried constituents who have already voted or are likely to vote in House District 3 — which covers parts of Nassau County and northern Queens.
With undecided voters out of the mix, the race is evenly split between both candidates.
“This race is too close to call,” James Johnson, co-founder of JLP, told The Post. “Everything hinges on who turns out on election day.”
“If Republicans can get out their vote, then the race is genuinely competitive,” he added. “But weather and the closeness of the race makes this one unpredictable in the extreme.”
The J.L. Partners survey also provides a glimpse as to why Suozzi, New York’s 3rd District representative from 2017 to 2023, has distanced himself from President Biden on the campaign trail.
The poll found Biden leading by just 1 point among Queens and Nassau County voters in a general election matchup against former President Donald Trump and third-party candidates.
Biden, 81, defeated Trump in the district by 10 points in 2020, and Suozzi bested Santos – during the disgraced former lawmaker’s first congressional run – by more than 12 points that year.
The poll measured Biden’s support at 45%, compared to Trump’s 44%.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. received 8% support and Green Party candidate Jill Stein had 3% of likely voters backing her candidacy.
“One thing is clear: compared to a decisive Biden 10-point win in 2020, NY-03 may now be the quintessential swing district,” Johnson said of the poll’s general election findings.
A late-winter storm forecast to dump as much as eight inches of snow on the region Tuesday could hand Suozzi an assist at the ballot box, as thousands more Democrats than Republicans have turned out for early voting in the close contest.
In an interview with CNN that aired Monday, Suozzi argued that people in New York’s Third District are “fed up with the whole George Santos thing,” calling it “yesterday’s news,” while in the same breath likening Pilip to the indicted former congressman.
“It’s Santos 2.0,” Suozzi said of Pilip. “She’s got no specific positions on issues. She’s not meeting with the public. She’s not taking questions from the public. It’s the same thing,” the former Nassau County executive added.
Pilip, who was born in Ethiopia before moving to Israel where she served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, has made the migrant crisis a focus of her campaign, blaming Suozzi for not addressing the border security during his time in the House of Representatives.
“The solution is we need to come up with a plan in place [for] how we are going to bring people legally into this country – the way I came to this country, the way my husband came to this country,” Pilip told the outlet.
“My husband is a cardiologist. I built myself, you know, I’m running for Congress. This is the country that can give you that opportunity, but you have to come the right way,” she added. “Right now, the way things are going, that’s not right.”