After U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop and Republican challenger Randy Altschuler swapped headlines in late July, each claiming bragging rights in separate polls, Siena College released a poll on Thursday stating that Bishop holds a 13-point lead with eight weeks to go until Election Day.
According to the poll, 52 percent of likely voters would vote for Bishop while 39 would cast a ballot for Altschuler. Nine percent of the 624 likely voters polled said they were undecided.
The poll's margin of error is noted at 3.9 percent.
While the poll may come as good news to the Bishop camp, a Siena poll conducted in 2010 — released just under a month before Election Day — showed the Democrat ahead by 12 percentage points. , or less than one half of 1 percent.
“Make no mistake, this will be a close race," said a Bishop spokesman in a statement.
An Altschuler spokeswoman went one step further in a statement.
"One looks at how badly they botched their 2010 polls, and it's impossible for any reasonable person to take the Siena poll seriously," said Diana Weir.
Altschuler's campaign recently unleashed attack ads on the Southampton Democrat in response to reports surfaced stating that after the congressman helped expedite a fireworks permit for a local resident. Meanwhile Bishop ads have continued to label his opponent as someone who has contributed to a lagging jobs market due to his former company's involvement in outsourcing jobs.
In a poll of voters' views on presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, 49 percent of those polled noted a favorable view of Obama, with 46 percent showing a favorable view of Romney.
A statement released on Thursday with the poll results is attached as a .pdf.