Rasmussen: Gillibrand Still Far Ahead of GOP Hopefuls
The GOP challengers in New York have some work to do, but it is not at all impossible that Joe DioGuardi or Bruce Blakeman could defeat her in the general election, as the numbers stand now. Both have a 12% deficit to regain in order to make this a close election, Rasmussen is reporting now.
Of the three GOP hopefuls, Joe DioGuardi is, according to the poll, starting to tighten up the race between himself and Sen. Gillibrand:
Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand maintains comfortable leads over all three of her Republican challengers in the race for U.S. Senate in New York.
But a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state shows a tightening of the contest between Gillibrand and former Congressman Joe DioGuardi. She now earns 49% of the vote to DioGuardi’s 38%. In early May, Gillibrand led this race 51% to 28%.
Gillibrand leads ex-Port Authority Commissioner Bruce Blakeman 50% to 38%. Against economist David Malpass, she posts a 49% to 34% lead. These findings show little change from the previous survey conducted in early May.
In all three hypothetical match-ups, three percent (3%) or less prefer some other candidate, while 10% to 13% remain undecided.
Gillibrand, who was appointed to the Senate seat last year when Hillary Clinton became secretary of State, has long been viewed as one of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents, but no major Republican challengers have stepped forward. In early April, when Gillibrand was matched against an unnamed generic Republican candidate, the race was essentially a tie.
Republicans will choose their nominee in a September 14 primary.
This statewide telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters in New York was conducted on June 16, 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, LLC. See methodology.
Among female voters in New York, Gillibrand leads each of her challengers by at least 25 points. Male voters give a small edge to the Republicans.
Voters not affiliated with either major political party favor DioGuardi but like Gillibrand in the other two match-ups.
Fifty-four percent (54%) of Empire State voters favor repeal of the national health care plan, while 41% oppose repeal. This includes 39% who Strongly Favor repeal and 33% who Strongly Oppose it. Support for repeal is slightly lower in New York than it is nationally.
Voters who Strongly Favor repeal support the Republicans. Gillibrand earns equally strong support from those who Strongly Oppose repeal of the bill that she voted for in the Senate.
Twenty percent (20%) of all New York voters hold a Very Favorable opinion of the incumbent, while 20% view her Very Unfavorably.
Blakeman is seen Very Favorably by seven percent (7%) and Very Unfavorably by nine percent (9%).
For DioGuardi, Very Favorables are 11% and Very Unfavorables 10%.
Just five percent (5%) have a Very Favorable view of Malpass, while 10% regard him Very Unfavorably.
Yet while only 13% have no opinion of Gillibrand, anywhere from 38% to 42% of New York voters don’t know enough about the GOP candidates to express any kind of opinion of them. At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
Obama carried New York in the 2008 election with 62% of the vote, and 54% of voters in the state now approve of the job he is doing as president, down seven points from May. Forty-four percent (44%) disapprove. New Yorkers rate Obama’s performance higher than voters nationwide in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
We will continue to follow this story in the months to come.