May 4, 2009
5/4: Gillibrand Needs to Make Positive Inroads with NY Electorate
Hers was an atypical ascent to the Senate, and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has a long way to go to convince New Yorkers that she belongs there. The proportion of New York voters who say Senator Gillibrand is doing an excellent or good job in office is virtually unchanged since The Marist Poll’s March survey. 19% of voters today think she is doing an above average job. And, more voters have formed an opinion of Gillibrand. While half of voters back in March reported they weren’t quite sure how Gillibrand was doing, fewer — 43% — feel that way now. However, there’s a rub. More New York voters — 10% — currently view Gillibrand as doing a subpar job compared with two months ago when 5% shared that view.
Gillibrand Losing Ground in 2010 U.S. Senate Race
What are Senator Gillibrand’s chances for election to the U.S. Senate in 2010? In a hypothetical matchup against former New York State Governor George Pataki, Gillibrand trails Pataki, 38% to 46%. Gillibrand has lost ground to the former governor. In Marist’s March survey, Gillibrand led Pataki 45% to 41%. Although still in the lead, Gillibrand has also lost support in a hypothetical pairing against U.S. Representative Peter King. Currently, 42% of voters say they would back Gillibrand while 31% report they would vote for King. 27% are unsure. However, in March, Gillibrand led King 49% to 28% with 23% reporting they were uncertain about whom they would support.
U.S. Senate in 2010: No Clear Democrat…Pataki Over King Among GOP
To make it to the big dance, Gillibrand must first win her party’s nomination. So, what are the chances of that happening? When pitted against U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, it’s an open contest. Gillibrand edges Maloney. She receives 36% of New York Democrats compared with Maloney’s 31%. However, a large proportion of the party — 33% — are unsure. What about the Republican competition? As it stands right now, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010 would be George Pataki. He would defeat Peter King 48% to 36% among New York Republicans. Pataki’s lead has shrunk, however. Back in Marist’s March survey, Republican voters handed Pataki the hypothetical victory with 56% of the vote while King garnered 32%.