Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paterson's Choice

With it now becoming clearer that Caroline Kennedy is a serious possibility for New York's US Senate vacancy, it begs the question of whether a Kennedy appointment or an Andrew Cuomo one would help Governor David Paterson score more political points.

The answer is that it's a wash. We found last week that Paterson has a 68% approval rating with New York Democrats, a strong performance to be sure. But what about the third of folks in his party who either disapprove of the job he's doing or are unsure...could appointing either help him to win over those folks?

The answer is no. 43% of Democrats who don't approve of Paterson's job performance want Kennedy to be picked, while 22% support Cuomo. Those numbers are virtually identical to the preferences of the population at large, where 44% are for Kennedy and 23% would choose Cuomo.

There's no meaningful difference between who those who aren't sure about Paterson want appointed and who those who are happy with the job he's doing would like to see get the Senate seat. That's just more confirmation that with high approval numbers Paterson should be able to appoint who he thinks best for the Senate seat without having to worry too much about political repercussions in one direction or another.

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