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Nassau GOP to stick with pollster who predicted Eric Cantor win

Although nationally known GOP pollster John McLaughlin was completely wrong about the primary involving House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Nassau Republicans are going to stick with him and his company, McLaughlin and Associates.

"We've had a great relationship with John McLaughlin over the years," Anthony Santino, spokesman for Nassau County Republican chairman Joseph Mondello, said yesterday. "His polls in Nassau County have been tried and true. His polls showed that Ed Mangano would beat Tom Suozzi in 2009 and trounce him in 2013," referring to the Nassau County executive race.

The Nassau GOP committee and local Republican candidates have paid McLaughlin, based in Alexandria, Va., tens of thousands of dollars to do their polling for more than a decade. Republicans say Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) has used him for a number of campaigns over the past 20 years.

The firm's website lists New York Republican Assembly and Senate campaign committees as clients, while state election board records show that GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign committee has paid McLaughlin more than $79,000 since February 2013.

A McLaughlin poll released last week by Cantor's campaign gave the Virginia Republican a 34-point lead over his relatively unknown opponent, Dave Brat. But Brat wound up beating Cantor 55.5 percent to 44.5 percent in unofficial returns.

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