Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cuomo, Kennedy lead King

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.

3 comments:

William L. Esposito said...

Is there any surprise regarding the polling data? New York State is as blue as you can be. Keep this mind:

1. Obama just carried the State by 2 million plus votes!
2. Hillary Clinton won re-election in 2006 by 1.6 million votes!
3. Chuck Schumer was re-elected in 2004 by 3 million plus votes!

All Democrats running in the State of monolithic liberalism. Any Republican being considered for Senator will be a prohibited underdog in a state-wide race.

It would take an act of God for Peter King or any Republican to overcome the increasing registration edge the Democrats enjoy. Buckley won in 1970 and D'Amato in 1980 because a third party (Liberal) siphoned votes away from the Democratic candidates.

Prediction:
1. This State is not going to vote Republican in a presidential or US Senate election for another generation and that's being optimistic.

Daniel said...

I disagree with your last statement, Tom. Kennedy has high name recognition, King has very low name recognition, and this is NY we are talking about. An early poll like this shoul dfavor her. And given how much she has fallen over the past month, there is no reason to believe she will be an effective campaigner in 2010.

William L. Esposito said...

Daniel - You are omitting one very important factor: The power of incumbency. A Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo, or any other Democrat will be running as a sitting NY State Senator in 2010 and 2012.

That person will have a 2-year voting record that will be a unifying force for the Democratic Party and it's varied interest groups. And don't forget the power of the media that will overwhelmingly endorse/support a Democrat over a Republican in this State. When was the last time the NY Times, that bastion of objectivity and impartiality, ever gave a Republican a break?

A Democratic candidate running as an incumbent in this State is virtually guaranteed victory; it's unfortunate but true. Look what happened to Dennis Vacco, a Republican, who ran for re-election as Attorney General in 1998. He managed to lose to Elliott Spitzer who eventually became Governor 8 years later.

 
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