Kennedy, Cuomo Close in New York Poll

Posted December 23, 2008 at 11:01am

Empire State voters are ambivalent toward the possibility of a Sen. Caroline Kennedy according to poll results released Tuesday morning.

A Quinnipiac University poll showed respondents were split, 40 percent to 41 percent, on whether Kennedy is qualified to fill the shoes of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who will step down imminently to become secretary of State in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration.

Gov. David Paterson (D) must appoint Clinton’s replacement, who will run for re-election to the seat in 2010. Paterson is said to be mulling over several names to fill the spot, including Kennedy and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

In the survey, Kennedy proved to be just a slightly more popular pick than Cuomo, 33 percent to 29 percent.

Kennedy was preferred in New York City, but tied with Cuomo in the suburbs. Cuomo had more support in upstate New York and among Republicans.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) received support from 4 percent of respondents, while 24 percent of respondents said they wanted someone else and 10 percent were undecided.

Forty-eight percent of respondents, however, said they expect Paterson to appoint Kennedy to the seat.

The poll surveyed the opinions of 834 registered New York voters from Dec. 17-Dec. 21 and had a 3.4-percent margin of error.

Also in the survey, Clinton registered her second-highest approval rating ever at 70 percent — including a 47-percent approval rating from Republicans.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) boasted a 63-percent approval rating in the poll. He is up for a third term in 2010 and therefore will run on the same ticket as Clinton’s successor.