Andrew Cuomo 48
Peter King 29
Caroline Kennedy 46
Peter King 44
Andrew Cuomo and Caroline Kennedy both lead Peter King in possible 2010 faceoffs, but there's a wide disparity in how comfortable their initial leads would be against the GOP Congressman and possible Senate contender.
A plurality of New York voters, 40%, have no opinion one way or the other about King. 34% view him favorably and 26% have a negative opinion of him.
There is a 27 point difference between Kennedy and Cuomo in terms of how they fare with white voters against King. While Cuomo leads by 18 points with that demographic, Kennedy trails King 50-41 with them. The only reason Cuomo isn't leading King by a lot more is that he only has a 35-23 advantage with African American voters at this very early stage.
Kennedy's relative weakness against King is being driven by a poor performance with voters in her own party. A full quarter of Democrats say they would vote for King if he faced off against Kennedy. Having Kennedy as his opponent also helps King to line up his party behind him. While Republicans only support King 53-27 against Cuomo, they give him a 74-19 advantage against Kennedy.
While it certainly seems clear Cuomo would be a runaway favorite, this poll isn't necessarily terrible news for Kennedy either. Her public image right now might be as bad as it can get, and she still leads the GOP's strongest possible candidate in a hypothetical match up. If she's appointed she'll have a couple years in the Senate to redeem her image. It's also important to remember that while perceptions of her right now are being driven by the media, she'll have the opportunity in a campaign to spend millions and millions of dollars on television ads shaping whatever perception of herself that she wants to the voters. Presumably things can only get better for her should she actually be appointed by David Paterson, and I'd still expect her to be a considerable favorite for reelection in 2010 if she gets the gig.
Full results here.