Democrat Nathan McMurray has been an underdog during the entire campaign for New York's 27th Congressional District seat.
And he still is. But his chances took a significant jump today, according to political prognosticators at FiveThirtyEight.
Once FiveThirtyEight factored in results of a Spectrum News/Siena College poll released Tuesday, McMurray's chances to win the election increased to 28.1 percent, or 2 in 7. Incumbent Republican Rep. Chris Collins remains the favorite at 71.9 (5 in 7), in the site's "classic" model.
Tuesday's Siena poll had Collins with a three-percentage point lead over McMurray. The poll has a plus or minus of 4.7 percentage points.
The Siena poll helped McMurray to highs in FiveThirtyEight's model in both percentage chance to win, and overall estimated percent of the vote (46.6 percent to Collins' 50.5; Reform candidate Larry Piegza is at 2.9).
Just over a week ago, on Oct. 7, FiveThirtyEight had Collins in the strongest position to win during the campaign. He was projected to win 55.3 percent of the vote, giving him a 94.8 percent chance (19 in 20) to win.
Prior to Tuesday's update, FiveThirtyEight deemed McMurray's chances to win at 25.2 percent.
McMurray has been looking up at Collins – or whoever was going to be in the seat – in FiveThirtyEight's model for the entire race.
Following Collins' indictment on felony insider trading charges on Aug. 8, whether Collins or another Republican would be on the ballot line was unknown, but FiveThirtyEight still deemed it a 75.49 percent chance that the seat would stay red. At that juncture, the site had guesstimated that Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw would win 51.5 percent of the vote, with 45.5 for McMurray.
Since then, particularly with Collins' announcement that he was staying in the race, the percentage chance that the seat would stay Republican has exceeded 80 percent and sometimes 90 percent.