A new poll shows New Yorkers now prefer Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over Caroline Kennedy for the U.S. Senate seat expected to be vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found New York voters prefer Cuomo 31 percent to 24 percent over Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy.
David Paterson, who will appoint any successor to Clinton, said he and Cuomo have discussed the seat, but would not confirm Cuomo is interested.
Kennedy has been an early favorite among voters.
But none of the more than dozen hopefuls have managed to win a
majority of support in the polls. Several member of Congress
seeking the job also attracted support in the Quinnipiac poll.
Among them, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York City got 6
percent; Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand of the Hudson Valley-Albany had 5
percent; and Rep. Steve Israel" id="PEPLT003176">Steve Israel of Long Island" id="PLTRA000031">Long Island had 2 percent. The
poll showed 18 percent of voters split among the other contenders
and 14 percent were undecided.
Political observers, however, have noted that one of the
candidates getting far less attention in the press than Kennedy and
Cuomo could still be chosen by Paterson. They have far more
legislative experience than either big name, and the Congress
members are seen as having a greater ability to make a quick impact
in the Senate.
The poll called 1,664 registered voters from Jan. 8 to Monday
and has a margin of error of just more than 2 percentage points.
"Caroline Kennedy's stumbling start in her first interviews may
have cost her the lead," said Maurice Carroll, director of the
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It's close, but Attorney
General Andrew Cuomo is No. 1 among voters in the race for Hillary
Clinton's Senate seat."
In mid-December, the Siena Research Institute poll showed 26
percent of voters favored Cuomo and 23 percent favored Kennedy, but
that was a dead heat considering the 4-percentage point margin of
Both polls continue show New Yorkers still expect Paterson, a
Democrat, to choose Kennedy. That's consistent before and after her
brief upstate tour and a round of press interviews that highlighted
her apparent reticence to talk about issues, raised concerns about
her understanding of the state as a whole, and drew criticism of
her speech pattern after repeated use of the phrase "you know" in
Paterson is expected to announce his decision when Clinton is
confirmed as secretary of state, which is expected within days.
He continues private meetings with as many as 15 people he said
are in the running for the seat. He won't identify the candidates,
but press accounts show he's already talked to Kennedy, Nassau
County Executive Tom Suozzi" id="PEPLT007491">Tom Suozzi and others. He's also reviewing a
lengthy form he asked all hopefuls to submit with answers to
questions about education, experience and personal finances among