New York: Polls Continue to Show Gillibrand Vulnerable

Posted May 4, 2009 at 6:34pm

Correction Appended

Three months after her appointment, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand continues to have shaky poll numbers. A new Marist College poll showed her leading Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a hypothetical Democratic primary but losing to former Gov. George Pataki (R) in a general election matchup.

In the poll of 454 registered Democrats, Gillibrand led Maloney 36 percent to 31 percent, while one-third of those surveyed were undecided. The poll, taken April 28-29, had a 5-point margin of error.

When 1,029 registered voters were asked about a hypothetical general election, Pataki led Gillibrand 46 percent to 38 percent. But she fared better against another potential Republican candidate, Rep. Peter King, taking 42 percent to the Long Island Congressman’s 31 percent. The general election poll had a 3-point error margin.

In a small subsample of Republican voters, Pataki led King in a hypothetical GOP Senate primary, 48 percent to 36 percent. That poll of 285 registered Republicans had a 6-point margin of error.

Although there remains some grumbling about Gillibrand from key Democratic interest groups, so far no Democrat has come forward to challenge her. However, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (D) and Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper (D) have created exploratory committees in advance of possible Senate bids.

Weiner’s Mayoral Ambitions May Wait

Will Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) run for mayor of New York this year, which he has been gearing up to do since running surprisingly strong in the 2005 Democratic mayoral primary?

New York magazine this week devotes about 4,000 words to the increasing likelihood that Weiner will have to sit on the sidelines this year, frustrated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) successful attempts to overturn the city’s term-limit laws late last year. In the article, Weiner appears to be going through the motions of a potential candidate but is not campaigning pell-mell, which would be expected just four months before the September primary.

“I know I can run this city better than the current mayor,— Weiner tells the magazine. “I know it. But sometimes there are walls even your ambition and skill can’t push through.—

Those walls are fortified by gold-plated bricks — namely, Bloomberg’s ability to fund his bid for a third term with $60 million to $80 million of his own money.

The New York profile comes as PolitickerNY.com reported Monday that Bloomberg operatives would rather he run against New York City Comptroller William Thompson (D) in November than Weiner and are working hard to keep the Congressman out of the race. The article reported that Bloomberg is reaching out to political and community leaders in Weiner’s Brooklyn-Queens Congressional district.

“It takes whatever natural base [Weiner] would have and closes it off to him,— a Bloomberg operative told the Web site.

Correction: May 5, 2009

The article incorrectly reported some of the results of a recent Marist College poll. In a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) led 36 percent to 31 percent.