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Rasmussen: New York Senate Race Shows Gillibrand With Slight Lead

January 21, 2010

Fellow Republicans paying attention to the NY Senate race should take not of this recent poll:

There’s an old political axiom: You can’t beat somebody with nobody. At least not in real life. But nobody comes pretty close in a new Rasmussen Reports survey of one of New York’s two U.S. Senate races this year.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of likely voters favor incumbent Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, while 34% opt for an unnamed generic Republican candidate. Ten percent (10%) favor former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr., now a Manhattan investment banker. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided.

Ford is considering a Democratic Primary challenge of Gillibrand, who has been widely criticized in her own party ever since Governor David Paterson named her to the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton last year. Gillibrand leads Ford 48% to 23% among likely primary voters.

Ford also reportedly is thinking about skipping the primary process and running as an independent.

Among Republicans, both former Governor George Pataki and ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have been mentioned as possible Senate candidates. Rasmussen Reports tested both these hypothetical match-ups in November.

Giuliani led Gillibrand by 13 points at that time – 53% to 40%. Against Pataki, Gillibrand came out barely ahead, 45% to 42%, nearly identical to findings two months earlier.

The problem for Republicans is Pataki has expressed no public interest in the race, and Giuliani pulled himself out of consideration within days after the November poll. Now Congressman Peter King, who initially ruled out a Senate run, says he is reconsidering. No major Republicans are in the race at this time.

Unlike in many other states, the national health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats is less of a factor in Republicans’ favor in New York. Forty-eight percent (48%) of Empire State voters favor the plan, while 49% oppose it. Those numbers include 26% who Strongly Favor it and 38% who Strongly Oppose, again a narrower gap than is found in most states and nationally.

The bigger problem for Gillibrand and other incumbents nationally may be views about the economy. Only six percent (6%) of New York voters describe the U.S. economy as good or excellent. Forty-eight percent (48%) rate it as poor.

Thirty-three percent (33%) say economic conditions in the country are getting better, but 37% think they’re getting worse. Twenty-three percent (23%) say conditions are staying about the same.

Just nine percent (9%) percent of New York voters have a very favorable opinion of Gillibrand, while nearly twice as many (17%) view her very unfavorably. Fourteen percent (14%) have no opinion of the incumbent.

Ford is seen very favorably by six percent (6%) and very unfavorably by 10%.. But 34% don’t know enough about Ford to venture even a soft opinion of him.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Sixty-six percent (66%) in New York say another terrorist attack in the next year is likely, with 25% who believe it is very likely. New Yorkers are evenly divided over whether America is safer today than it was before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.: 40% say yes, 39% say no.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) think the attempt by a Nigerian Muslim to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day should be investigated by the military as a terrorist act. Twenty-one percent (21%) say the incident should be investigated by civilian authorities as a criminal act.

Forty percent (40%) rate the way the government has responded to the attempted airliner bombing as good or excellent, but 36% say the response has been poor.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of New York voters favor the use of full-body scanners at airport security checkpoints.

In the November 2008 election, Obama defeated Republican candidate John McCain in New York with 62% of the vote. Fifty-six percent (56%) of New York voters now approve of the job Obama is doing, including 34% who Strongly Approve. Forty-three percent disapprove of his job performance, with 33% who Strongly Disapprove. His job approval ratings are much higher in New York than they are nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

  1. Fly On The Wall permalink
    January 21, 2010 6:39 pm

    It has been a great week for conservatives. First Brown in Massachusetts, and now this:

    Rumors become reality as the liberal radio talk network AIR AMERICA prepares to file for Chapter 7 and is ceasing operations, immediately. They blame the lack of ad sales but the real problem was the lack of listeners. I mean really, what guy could listen to Randi Rhodes for more then five minutes without thanking God that you were not married to that mouth!

    • Cecil permalink
      January 22, 2010 1:51 am

      Who could listen to Craig Eaton for more than five minutes without thanking God you were not married to THAT mouth!

  2. One Big Mess permalink
    January 21, 2010 11:00 pm

    Corporations can now pay for candidates advertisments.

  3. Golden for U.S. Senate permalink
    January 22, 2010 1:34 am

    Why doesn’t Marty Golden run for Senate?

    • Herman permalink
      January 22, 2010 1:48 am

      His buddy Chuck Schumer won’t like it.
      Vito Lopez will also be ina tizzy: who else will he make deals with? It is no secret that Marty is a RINO and an agent for the Democratic machine in Brooklyn.
      Not a bad idea though…with Marty gone the Real Republicans in Brooklyn actually have a chance at winning some seats.

  4. Wag-the-Dog permalink
    January 22, 2010 9:40 am

    Since yesterday, it has become clear that the State Senator will be busy campaigning in a primary to hold his state senate seat this summer anyway.

    This way a) the Dems get a key seat to maintain their fingernail grip on the state senate; b) the Bay Ridge state senator gets to show he’s ready for primetime in the big leagues instead of wasting his vacation fighting off a pain-in-the-ass, pissed off fellow Republican with strength in the 49th AD, other parts of Boro Park [how did he get that? He certainly never had it before.], Bay Ridge and Marine Park; c)the pain-in-the-ass, pissed off fellow Republican gets to show Craig Eaton 1) some of “what he’s got” and 2) some of “what comes next” running for the open state senate seat and d) the Conservative Party gets a chance to prove yet again why they are the tail that wags the Republican dog here in Brooklyn. It’s a win-win-win-win all around.

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