In a rematch of their 2012 battle, the Republican ophthalmologist challenger leads Democrat Rep. Sean P. Maloney in the race for the New York-18 congressional district seat, according to a Human Events/Gravis poll of 523 registered voters.

Republican Nan Alison Hayworth was the choice of 44 percent of voters compared for 40 percent for Maloney, said Doug Kaplan, the president of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that conducted the automated IVR survey. The poll carries a 4 percent margin of error.

Although the Upstate New York district leans to the GOP, in 2012 Maloney beat the then-incumbent Hayworth with a unique approach. Hayworth, elected in 2010, was considered one of the most liberal Republicans, but she tried to tack to the middle on issues such as abortion and gay rights.

Sensing her a chink in her armor, Maloney ran as a conservative gay husband and father. By announcing his lifestyle upfront, he took away Hayworth’s left flank. Then, by stressing his work in the Clinton White House to balance the federal budget and business experience he took away Hayworth’s right flank.

In the 2012 race, Maloney beat Hayworth 52 percent to 48 percent.

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