If the Obama Administration is concerned about the 2010 elections in New York State, perhaps, there is good reason. In a Marist Poll earlier this month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s approval rating was 26% with more than a quarter of registered voters unsure how to rate her. When she is currently pitted against former Republican New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a hypothetical matchup for U.S. Senate, Gillibrand has some ground to gain. If the election were held today, Giuliani would win a slim majority of the electorate — 51% — to Gillibrand’s 40%.
While support does divide along party lines, nearly three in ten Democrats say they would support Republican challenger Giuliani. Currently, 62% of Democrats would back Gillibrand while 29% would support Giuliani. On the Republican side, 80% are behind Giuliani compared with 13% for Gillibrand. By a two-to-one margin, non-enrolled voters support Giuliani, 60% to Gillibrand’s 30%.
The picture for Gillibrand is somewhat, although not much, better when she faces off against former New York State Governor George Pataki. Pataki edges Gillibrand 45% to 41% among registered voters in New York State. In a Marist Poll earlier in September, Pataki received 48% of the electorate to Gillibrand’s 44%.
The parties break in support of their respective candidates. Among non-enrolled voters, Pataki is leading Gillibrand, but a notable proportion is undecided. 48% of these voters say they would support Pataki if the race were held today while 32% would back Gillibrand. 20% are unsure.