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The Montauk Lighthouse as seen in 2015 next

The Montauk Lighthouse as seen in 2015 next to an image of the Pakri Lighthouse in Estonia shown in Lee Zeldin's online ad for re-election. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant; Zeldin for Congress via YouTube

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Daily Point

Zeldin-Gershon race tightening

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, is up by just 3 percent over Democratic challenger Perry Gershon, according to a new poll from Taking Action Suffolk County, a Democratic-supporting SuperPAC. The poll of likely voters, done after Labor Day, has Zeldin with 47 percent support in New York’s 1st Congressional District, and Gershon with 44. The margin of error is 4.9 percent.

In 2016, Zeldin, a Republican, defeated Democrat Anna Throne-Holst by more than 15 percent, and Trump won the district by a slightly smaller margin. The new poll, done with random phone calls and sampling weighted to similar nonpresidential years, finds Zeldin’s favorability at 45 percent, with 42 percent unfavorable. Fewer voters know Gershon, a businessman out of East Hampton; his favorable numbers were at 35 percent, with 25 percent unfavorable.

The poll, done by New York City’s Global Strategy Group, found Trump’s favorability in CD1 at 42 percent, with 52 percent unfavorable. Regarding preference for a Democrat, 49 percent said they wanted a Democrat to keep a check on Trump, while 40 percent wanted a Republican to help him.

The poll measured the electorate’s mood as well, with 56 percent of Democrats reporting that they were very excited about the election vs. only 36 percent of Republicans saying the same.

Gershon recently got a boost of support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which moved him into its Red to Blue program for competitive candidates, a sign that national Democrats are starting to believe Zeldin might be vulnerable. And on Thursday, the new activist group Swing Left announced that Gershon’s race will be on its target list, potentially bringing more money and volunteers to the race.

Mark Chiusano

Talking Point

Not quite The End

Montauk may be the easternmost point in New York, but it’s not in the Baltics.

A lighthouse in the online version of Rep. Lee Zeldin’s campaign ad, “Safeguarding Our Environment,” appears to be the Pakri Lighthouse in Estonia, just a little to the east, about 4,000 miles or so, of the Montauk Lighthouse.

Footage of the TV version of the ad provided by the Zeldin campaign shows the correct lighthouse: the revered national landmark at the tip of Zeldin’s district.

“We put the video up on YouTube while putting the finishing touches on the finalized spot, which included a couple of improvements and approvals for use of footage,” Zeldin spokesman Chris Boyle wrote in an email.

It’s an ironic online mix-up for the Zeldin camp given that a common line of attack on challenger Perry Gershon is that Gershon isn’t a real Long Islander. Gershon has residences in East Hampton and Manhattan.

Both versions of the Zeldin ad make nods to his origins, with the congressman talking about loving and protecting “the place I’ve called home my whole life.”

Mark Chiusano

Pencil Point

Dumpster fire

Reference Point

Housing woes continue

A big corporate executive gave a speech to the Long Island Association and decried the lack of a regional approach to some of Long Island’s pressing problems. Among those issues, he said, was the shortage of housing, a major reason his company was losing workers younger than 35.

The corporation was Grumman, the executive was its new chairman, John O’Brien, and his speech was delivered in September 1988.

Thirty years ago, on Sept. 20, Newsday’s editorial board backed up O’Brien, writing, “The need for a regional approach to such problems as water, solid waste and housing has been clear for some time.”

At that time, Long Island had 680 units of government that, as O’Brien put it, “can’t get out of their own way when there is a regional problem to be solved.”

Grumman had 24,000 workers, but was in the midst of moving operations elsewhere. The editorial board praised the formation of the Long Island Housing Partnership to address the need for housing that O’Brien had identified, and added, “O’Brien noted that the exodus of young workers from Grumman duplicated a generalized exodus of them from Long Island. ‘That’s bad news for Grumman,’ he said, ‘and it’s bad news for Long Island, too.’ ”

The board’s conclusion back then: “We agree.”

And we still do.

Michael Dobie

Columns