A new PPP survey of Democrats in New York finds that their top choice for Governor David Paterson to appoint as Hillary Clinton's replacement would be Caroline Kennedy:
Caroline Kennedy 44
Andrew Cuomo 23
Kirsten Gillibrand 6
Brian Higgins 5
Nydia Velazquez 4
Byron Brown 3
Tom Suozzi 3
Carolyn Maloney 3
Kennedy is the most popular potential appointment within every demographic subgroup by race, gender, and age. She is a particularly appealing choice to African Americans, where she is the preferred candidate of 60% of respondents, compared to 19% for Cuomo.
Cuomo had the most respondents list him as their second choice, with 35%. 24% said Kennedy would be their back up. That adds up to 68% of Democrats in the state saying Kennedy is their first or second pick with 58% expressing the same for Cuomo.
Not surprisingly, both Kennedy and Cuomo are viewed very positively overall by New York Democrats. 75% of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of Kennedy with just 11% viewing her unfavorably. 76% approve of Cuomo's job performance as Attorney General, compared to only 9% unhappy with it. It doesn't appear any of the other candidates have much statewide name recognition. For instance, when asked whether they viewed Kirsten Gillibrand favorably or unfavorably 69% had no opinion.
Cuomo and Kennedy definitely seem like they would be the candidates most suited to quickly being able to raise the money they would need to run for reelection consecutively in 2010 and 2012, and they also come to the table with the highest level of popularity. Paterson couldn't go wrong politically by appointing either of the pair.
Full results here