March 2, 2010
3/2: What Might Have Been…Gillibrand and Ford Matchup
Harold Ford Jr.’s decision not to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in New York makes good sense poll-wise. In a Marist Poll completed last night, Gillibrand put a little more distance between herself and the former Tennessee Congressman in a hypothetical contest for the nomination. 50% of New York Democratic voters would have backed Gillibrand. 19% reported, however, they would have supported Ford, and labor activist Jonathan Tasini would have taken just 3% of the vote. 28% of Democrats were unsure.
When The Marist Poll last asked this question in early February, 44% of Democrats reported they backed Gillibrand, 27% threw their support behind Ford, and 4% said they were going to cast their ballot for Tasini. 25%, at the time, were unsure.
“Ford’s short-lived challenge to Gillibrand not only did her no harm, it may have even solidified her support among Democrats,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Gillibrand in Tight Race with Pataki…Leads Blakeman & Zuckerman
While the leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is said to have met with former New York Governor George Pataki about a possible challenge to Senator Gillibrand, Pataki has not announced his intentions. But, what if he decided to enter the fray?
In a hypothetical matchup against Gillibrand, the two are locked in a tight contest. 48% of registered voters say they would support Pataki while Gillibrand receives 45% of voters’ support. 7% are unsure. There has been little change on this question since Marist last asked it in early February.
Another possible Republican challenger for Gillibrand is Mort Zuckerman, the publisher of The New York Daily News. In this hypothetical contest, Gillibrand leads Zuckerman 59% to 26%. 15% are unsure.
While Pataki and Zuckerman have not announced they are running, Bruce Blakeman has. Here, Gillibrand leads with 58% of the electorate to Blakeman’s 28%. 14% are unsure. Gillibrand has widened her lead over Blakeman. When Marist asked this question in its early February survey, Gillibrand had 52% while her Republican challenger Blakeman received 30%.
Gillibrand Making the Grade with NYS Voters?
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand still needs to prove herself to many members of the electorate. Currently, 25% view the senator as doing either an excellent or good job in office. 38% say she is doing a fair job while 15% report she is doing poorly. 22% are unsure or never heard of her.
When Marist last asked about Senator Gillibrand’s job approval rating, 24% gave her high marks while one-third thought her performance was fair. 18% saw her as doing a below average job. At that time, 25% were unsure how to rate her.
Schumer Approval Rating Rebounds
Senator Chuck Schumer’s job performance rating has taken a turn for the better. In The Marist Poll’s latest survey in New York State, 53% of registered voters statewide report Schumer is doing either an excellent or good job in office. 28% say he is doing a fair job while just 15% think he is doing poorly. 4% are unsure.
This is a good sign for Schumer. When Marist last asked about his approval rating in early February, Schumer received his lowest approval rating in nearly nine years — 47%. At that time, 31% said he was doing an average job, and 17% thought he wasn’t making the grade. 5% were unsure.
“Senator Schumer has picked up support in New York City. His base is more solid than it was in the last poll, and he’s maintained his suburban and upstate appeal,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Schumer Leads Kudlow By Nearly Three-to-One
Senator Gillibrand isn’t the only one who faces the electorate come November. New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, is facing re-election. When matched up against CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow, Schumer outpaces Kudlow, 69% to 24%, respectively. 7% are unsure. Little has changed on this question since Marist’s previous survey last month.