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Cuomo Holds Strong Lead…Without Declaring Candidacy

April 30, 2010

Andrew Cuomo is already winning, and he’s not even a candidate. This from Rasmussen:

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo continues to draw strong support from New York voters in the state’s gubernatorial contest – even though he’s yet to officially declare his candidacy.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Cuomo picking up 56% of the vote to Republican ex-Congressman Rick Lazio’s 24%. Only six percent (6%) would prefer some other candidate in this race, and 14% are undecided.

Against Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, Cuomo earns 55% of the vote to the Republican’s 25%. Five percent (5%) of Empire State voters would vote for some other candidate, but 15% are not sure.

Cuomo pulls 50% support for the second straight month when matched against Steve Levy, the county executive of Suffolk County, who just entered the race in March. Levy picks up 27% of the vote, while six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate. Another 17% are not sure.

Voter support for Cuomo has remained at or above 50% in every poll conducted sinceJanuary. During the same time period, Lazio was the only Republican to pass the 30% mark of support, when he captured 35% in January.

Cuomo has been the front-runner in the race from the start and consistently ran stronger than incumbent Democratic Governor David Paterson in primary and general election match-ups.

This survey of 500 Likely Voters in New York State was conducted on April 27, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLCSee methodology.

Hammered by the New York Times about his alleged involvement in the cover-up of a domestic abuse case involving a top aide, Paterson announced last month that he was not running this fall. Paterson, who was elected lieutenant governor in November 2006, succeeded to the governor’s office in March 2008 following Eliot Spitzer’s resignation in a sex scandal.

Lazio, a banker in recent years, first ran for statewide office in 2000 when he unsuccessfully battled Hillary Clinton for a seat in the U.S. Senate. His inability to make a dent in Cuomo’s numbers prompted Paladino’s interest in the race, but the Buffalo developer has been put on the defensive in recent weeks by media reports about racially-tinged and sexually suggestive e-mails he wrote or forwarded to others. Levy, a Democrat, switched parties to run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Cuomo has yet to announce his candidacy but is expected to seek his party’s nomination with little or no opposition. Both parties will pick their nominees in September 14 primaries.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Cuomo holds double-digit leads over Lazio and Paladino but breaks even with Levy.

One-in-three New York voters (34%) view Cuomo very favorably, up slightly over the past month. Ten percent (10%) view the Democrat very unfavorably.

Lazio earns very favorable reviews from just nine percent (9%) of the state’s voters, while 11% view him very unfavorably.

Paladino’s ratings are five percent (5%) very favorable and 16% very unfavorable.

Just six percent (6%) of Empire State voters view Levy very favorably, while 11% view him very unfavorably.

At this stage of the campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the very favorable and very unfavorable figures more significant than the overall favorability totals.

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Some Notes: Paladino is now neck and neck with Lazio’s numbers (which isn’t saying much), something we will continue to watch given Mr. Paladino’s recent media disaster. Perhaps he has recovered after all?

We shall see.

Also note that Mr. Levy has matched Mr. Lazio as well.

We shall continue to follow this story and this election in the coming months!

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