Voters Approve of Paterson’s Senate Pick, But Not Paterson

ALBANY—About two thirds of voters approve of the selection of Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton, indicating her rollout over the past week has increased her statewide profile in a very short time, a new Siena poll out today indicates.

The poll was conducted between Sunday and Tuesday, as Gillibrand was sworn into the U.S. Senate and capped a weekend of meetings with downstate officials.

Paterson is not faring as well with voters.

From Steve Greenberg, a Siena spokesman, via the release:

"While voters largely approve of the governor's selection of Senator Gillibrand, they largely disapprove of the way he handled the selection process. It's not surprising that nearly two-thirds of all voters, including more than 60 percent from every party and every region of the state, want to see any future vacancies in the United States Senate filled by a vote of New Yorkers in a special election."

Gillibrand will face an election in 2010, and has already started raising money. According to the survey, she leads potential Republican challengers Rudy Giuliani and Pete King, but only 21 percent of voters surveyed said they are prepared to vote for her now.

And 63 percent of the Democrats surveyed said they would like to see someone mount a primary challenge against her. She does better with Republicans.

A poll taken over the weekend found Gillibrand was largely unknown to voters, and after a round of meetings downstate another poll has her approval rating nearly doubling, to 46 percent.

Voters Approve of Paterson’s Senate Pick, But Not Paterson