Nevermind! New Poll Shows Cuomo Has Wide Lead Over Paladino

Democrat has 2-to-1 lead over GOP firebrand candidate, new poll finds

By Jennifer Millman and Michael Gormley
|  Friday, Sep 24, 2010  |  Updated 4:24 PM EDT
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The Attorney General accepts the Mayor's endorsement, even if he didn't always endorse him back.

The Attorney General accepts the Mayor's endorsement, even if he didn't always endorse him back.

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Talk about a short-lived party for Paladino.

One day after a Quinnipiac poll showed Democrat Andrew Cuomo clinging to a mere six point lead over firebrand GOP candidate Carl Paladino in the race for governor, a new poll out today indicates the attorney general has breathing room – and a lot of it.

Thursday's Siena poll of registered voters in New York shows Cuomo with a 2-to-1 lead over Paladino. The poll found Cuomo favored by 57 percent, with 24 percent for Paladino. Rick Lazio, who may continue as a Conservative candidate, had 8 percent.

The Quinnipiac University poll of New Yorkers considered likely to vote in November out Wednesday showed Cuomo with a 49 percent to 43 percent lead. Seven percent were undecided, and Lazio wasn't included.

Most polls question likely voters closer to Election Day because it is a more accurate measure than surveying registered voters, many of whom won't vote. A comparison of the polls is impossible because of the different methodologies.

Cuomo wouldn't comment. On Wednesday, he was critical of the Quinnipiac poll, saying such surveys have to be taken "with a grain of salt."

Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo criticized the Siena poll, saying that instead of asking likely voters, the pollster asked "anyone with a voter card." He said their internal polls show Paladino trails Cuomo by 9 or 10 points.

Concern prior to the release of the Quinnipiac poll was widely believed to have prompted an early endorsement for Cuomo from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who stood at City Hall Park to declare the attorney general the best candidate to be New York's next chief executive.

Saying anger is not a governing strategy, Bloomberg said, "I think Andrew Cuomo is the right person," Bloomberg said at a press event.

In Siena's poll, voters said Cuomo would do a better job on an array of issues from taxes to education. Since July, Cuomo's "favorable" rating remained around 60 percent, while his "unfavorable" rating rose to 31 percent, from 25 percent.

Meanwhile, Paladino's favorability rose to 32 percent, its highest level, from 16 percent in July. His unfavorable rating, however, rose about as much as voters heard more about him.

The poll also delved into the race for attorney general. It found likely voters favored Democrat Eric Schneiderman by a margin of 45 percent to 32 percent over Republican Dan Donovan.

Siena questioned 801 voters last Thursday and Friday, shortly after Paladino's Sept. 14 win in the Republican primary, and from this Sunday through Tuesday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points.
 

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