Quinnipiac, who brought us yesterday’s poll that showed Carl Paladino gaining on Andrew Cuomo, are out with a new one today that is bound to get political hearts beating a little quicker as well.
The poll shows that little known former Congressman Joe DioGuardi is down just six points against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, 48-42, although the polling institute’s director, Maurice Carroll, points out that Gillibrand is close to the magic 50 percent mark upon which candidates can rest easier. Gillibrand is making her first bid for statewide office after being appointed to the senate seat to replace Hillary Clinton. She has struggled to gain traction, but polls showed her favorability improving in recent months. The poll shows that 49 percent of voters approve of the job Gillibrand is doing, which is higher than the marks that President Barack Obama receives.
A few weeks ago, Gillibrand held a 20 point lead over DioGuardi in a Rasmussen Poll.
The poll also shows that the race between Democrat Eric Schneiderman and Republican Dan Donovan for attorney general to be a dead heat. Schneiderman gets 37 percent of the vote and Donovan 36, and a full 27 percent say they are undecided. And nearly half of voters who picked a candidate said that they could be persuaded to vote for someone else.
“State Sen. Eric Schneiderman and District Attorney Dan Donovan both will try to get better acquainted with the voters and perhaps try to define ‘the other guy’ in a negative fashion,” Carroll says. “In the past, New Yorkers tended to split their ticket, voting for at least one statewide official from a party other than the governor’s party, so this race is anybody’s guess.”
The vast majority of voters–77 percent for Schneiderman and 86 percent for Donovan–say they do not know enough to form an opinion about the candidates.
It is worth noting here how much more enthused Republicans seem going into the November elections than Democrats do, even in a state as Democratic as New York. The poll only queried likely voters, which explains how someone like Gillibrand, who has relatively high approval ratings, could find herself in a tight race–far more Republicans plan on voting than Democrats do.
The poll also showed a commanding lead for Sen. Chuck Schumer against his little-known challenger, G.O.P political consultant Jay Townsend. And Democratic state comptroller Tom DiNapoli is up 46-30 against Harry Wilson.
The poll has a margin of error of 3.6 percent.