Gillibrand, Schumer Among Democrats Leading in New York Poll

New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand holds a 21-point lead over her Republican challenger, former U.S. Representative Joseph DioGuardi, according to a poll released today.

Charles Schumer, 59, the state’s senior senator, leads Republican businessman Jay Townsend by more than 30 points, 63 percent to 32 percent, in a poll of likely voters by Quinnipiac University.

“If Republicans are going to take back the U.S. Senate, it doesn’t look as if New York will be much help,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

New York voters have an unusual opportunity to vote in two Senate races on Nov. 2. Gillibrand, 43, was appointed in January 2009 to fill the seat vacated when President Barack Obama picked Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Gillibrand is running to fill the remaining two years of Clinton’s original term. Schumer is seeking re-election to a full six-year term.

Gillibrand, who moved to the Senate from the U.S. House of Representatives, has a 55-34 percent lead, picking up support from a 48-42 percent advantage in a Sept 23 survey by the university. She is favored 59-28 percent among women, and leads 51-39 percent among men.

In races for state office, the poll showed Democratic state Senator Eric Schneiderman with a 43-32 percent lead over Staten Island’s Republican District Attorney Dan Donovan in the contest for attorney general. Incumbent Democratic state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has a 49-31 percent lead over Republican Harry Wilson.

Governor’s Race

Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic state attorney general who is running for governor, holds a 55-37 percent lead over Tea Party- backed Republican Carl Paladino, who’s vowed to clean up the state capitol of Albany “with a baseball bat,” a Quinnipiac poll released yesterday showed.

In today’s poll, 30 percent of voters describe themselves as angry with the way the federal government works, and an additional 43 percent say they are dissatisfied. In the Senate race, DioGuardi leads among the angry voters 59-29 percent.

Sixty-five percent of voters say they don’t know enough about Schumer’s opponent, Townsend, a market research executive, to form an opinion.

Little Recognition

Candidates for state office aren’t widely recognized, the poll showed. In the attorney general’s race, 75 percent of voters say they don’t know enough about Schneiderman to form an opinion, and 85 percent don’t know enough about Donovan.

In the comptroller’s race, 90 percent of voters don’t know enough about Wilson to form an opinion, and 65 percent don’t know enough about DiNapoli.

“You have to wonder if anybody is paying attention,” Carroll said.

“There seems to be about a one-third generic Republican vote” in New York, Carroll said. “All the Republican candidates for New York statewide office are within a couple of points of it.”

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,141 likely voters in New York State from Oct. 1 to Oct. 5. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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