December 23rd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
5 years ago

New Yorkers split on Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy looked on as her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, made an appearance at the Democratic convention in August of this year.
Caroline Kennedy looked on as her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, made an appearance at the Democratic convention in August of this year.

(CNN) - A new poll suggests New Yorkers are split on whether Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be a U.S. Senator - but they still expect their state's governor will name her to replace Hillary Clinton when the secretary of state-designate steps down from her Senate seat.

Forty percent of those questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released today say that Kennedy is qualified to serve as a senator, with 41 percent saying no. The 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy is one of a dozen or so hoping to fill the seat being vacated by Clinton when she leaves to take her post in President-elect Barack Obama's administration.

But Kennedy is drawing more scrutiny than the other Senate hopefuls because she's a member of one of the country's most famous political families, because she's never run for office, and because not much is well known about where she stands on crucial political issues and priorities.

The poll also indicates that by a 48 percent to 25 percent margin, New Yorkers think Gov. David Paterson will name Kennedy to the seat. Kennedy and her allies have launched a strong lobbying effort to persuade Paterson that she's qualified to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Asked their choice, 33 percent of those polled say Paterson should name Kennedy, with 29 percent backing New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Another four percent support congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand. Twenty-four percent want someone else and 10 percent are undecided.

Whomever Paterson names to the seat will have to run in a special election in November 2010 - and if they win that contest, will have to run again in 2012 when Clinton's current senate term ends.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted December 17-21, with 834 registered New York State voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.


Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • Polls
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. FFS !

    Ok let me give you the low down; She will get appointed to the seat, win another term, once she gets to 2016 she will run for President. Like Obama knowing nothing about being president she will be elected because of popularity. Difference is her name will get her there, KENNEDY. She will finally done what has eluded her other family members since her fathers death, become president. She will botch it, ruin the country, and we will have to get bailed out by Canada, or Mexico,. . . . . . . .the end.

    December 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Hold UP!!

    CAROLINE is Qualified....and she is not dumb like Bush ......Daddy Bush encouraged his BOY to Run For President ..... Dick owe me a Favor he will HELP you ........Speaking of experience What A Big Mess we are in ...........Bush was a MURDERING GOV of TX and a War Monger as PRES

    December 23, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Joseph Adewole

    Honour should be given to those that ONLY deserve to be honoured; This young woman deserve to have NO opposition at all. Americans should remember what her father did for America and appreciate it.
    One thing come to my mind always about JFK. when he said: "What so ever l did remain for or against me; l wished l could work for 26 hours a day before l am gone; if it killing yourself in the services of your country, never complain".
    He died in the services of his country.

    December 23, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. PL

    I think it's safe to say that Caroline received more experience around the dinner table than, the entire U.S. Congress currently has. I find it funny that people come out of nowhere and run for public office and we will say this lady isn't qualified.

    December 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. rodlang

    Why does the media call her Caroline Kennedy and not Caroline Schlossberg. The answer is simple. If she used her married name, she would never be considered for the Senate. It's all based on the Kennedy name and "Princess" Caroline.

    December 23, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Scott

    Yep...just what we need...another corrupt Kennedy...

    December 23, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. kelly WI

    Even if she is appointed now she will have to run in 2010 if she still wants the job. I expect she'll be replacing a Kennedy when Teddy has to quit. There are a few other Kennedys in congress already.
    Next appointment will be Chelsea. ha.
    The standards and qualifications are quite low. As long as you are rich and can bring in lots of money campainging you have it made.

    December 23, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. FAYE MOGHTADER

    I THINK SHE MAKES A GREAT SENATOR.MANY OF US WOMEN HER AGE DEVOTED OUR EARLY YEARS TO RAISING OUR CHILDREN NOW IS HER TIME,SHE HAS ALL THE QUALIFICATION TO BE A SENATOR.SHE HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION,AND WE SURE CAN USE A LOT OF HELP.

    December 23, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    When I first read the headline I thought it said:
    "New Yorkers SPIT on Caroline Kennedy."

    It actually would have made a better story...

    December 23, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. BROOKLYN

    No... We are not split. Every single person that I have spoken with in my great state has said the same thing... With all due respect to the kennedy name, Caroline has no experience what so ever, NONE. We need knowledge right now, not a name.

    And... As you could plainly see by the other posts here... The rest of the Nation feels the same way, so CNN, where did you get this "poll" from?

    December 23, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Vince

    The only qualification for the house of Lords is the right birth.

    Since we have turned the Senate into the house of Lords Hillary should think twice before giving up her senate seat. She should keep it for Chelsea.

    December 23, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Dave

    This New Yorker is not split. She has no business being crowned senator. People like to say Hillary had no experience.....please! She won a freaking election unlike this lady who just wants it handed to her since she is probably afraid of losing an election.

    December 23, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. J UAN CARLOS

    CAROLINE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,MONARCHIES,,,,,,,,,EXIST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,IN,,,,,,,,,,,,,THE,,,,,,,,,,

    UNITED,,,,,,,,,,,KINGDOM,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,AND,,,,,,,,,,,,,,IN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,THE,,,,,,,,NEW,,,,,,,

    YORK,,,,,,,,,,,DEMOCRATIC,,,,,,,,,,,,PARTY

    December 23, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Sat

    I think the time is right for Caroline Kennedy. She is certainly not the regular politician and that makes her more appealing to people like myself who see her in a supporting role to President Elect Obama. In the senate she will be able to interpret his way of thinking and bring that perspective along with her own savvy to the job. As a New Yorker, i look forward to her selection knowing that she has no hidden agenda and will represent the interest of the people of New York in a calm, efficient and professional manner. For those of you against her getting the job, be reminded that at this time in our history, we do not need another politician, we need people who care and understand what needs to be done to improve our economy and our lives.

    December 23, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Jerry Centralia, Illinois

    Her name is Kennedy. She is well enough connected to do some good. She will gain valuable experience and be the first lady president and I will vote for her.

    December 23, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    I AM NOT SPLIT !!!

    A SENATOR THAT DOESN'T BELIEVE SHE SHOULD

    VOTE DOES NOTHING FOR ME. THAT DISQUALIFIES

    HER IF NOTHING ELSE DOES. 1000S MORE QUALIFIED.

    December 23, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. NEW, NEW YORKER.

    SHE WANTS TO BE PART OF THE DREAM

    SHE COULDN'T BOTHER TO VOTE FOR.

    WOMAN IS INSULTING EVERY VOTER IN

    N.Y. THAT GETS OUT IN THE COLD TO VOTE.

    December 23, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    CAROLINE WANTS TO BE AT THE BALL

    BUT COULDN'T GET OUT OF BED TO VOTE.

    ANY CITIZEN THAT VOTED QUALIFIES MORE THAN SHE DOES.

    December 23, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Matt

    Yep, race and gender are off limits for why we should or shouldn't vote for someone, so let's resort to last names!

    December 23, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Johnnyboy

    Joseph Adewole said "Honour should be given to those that ONLY deserve to be honoured; This young woman deserve to have NO opposition at all. Americans should remember what her father did for America and appreciate it.
    One thing come to my mind always about JFK. when he said: "What so ever l did remain for or against me; l wished l could work for 26 hours a day before l am gone; if it killing yourself in the services of your country, never complain". He died in the services of his country."

    Mr. Adewole:

    I don't live in New York so I don't really care if Caroline Kennedy is chosed as the replacement for Clinton. However, her father's sacrifice should have no bearing on the selection process nor how much opposition she does, or does not, face. My dad was a great guy , bravely served our country during a time of war and was a brilliant executive. However, that doesn't make me qualified for anything. I am really tired of hearing the Kennedy family idolized like this. Yes, her father gave his life serving the country. But he wasn't a saint, nor were/are his brothers. I struggle to understand what his death, over 45 years ago, has to do with whether Caroline Kennedy should be a Senator. Quit idolizing the Kennedy family. It's tiresome.

    December 23, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Love this world?

    Who was it that said,"he who loves this world or anything in it does not love me?

    December 23, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. naqib

    Oh what harm could it do...

    Leave rebels to die at the Bay of Pigs
    Get played by Russia to give up all our missiles in Europe
    Attack the unions
    Start the Vietnam War
    Get tossed from Harvard for cheating
    Leave women in rivers while we sober up
    Work the system to defend relatives behavior in hot tubs
    Monroe & Mansfield

    Then again?

    December 23, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. David Goldman

    WE HAVE HAD IT WITH IRRESPONSIBLE ARROGANT

    DYNASTY TYPES. WOMAN DOESN'T BOTHER TO VOTE

    HERSELF BUT WANTS TO BE A SENATOR. DEMOCRAT OR

    REPUBLICAN, THAT IS BUSH ARROGANCE. I HAVEN'T SERVED

    YOU. I HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT LET ME LEAD YOU ??????

    December 23, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Brenna

    I think her numbers can only go up. Right now, for better or worst, she isn't trying to convince the voters but just voter, Gov. David Paterson.

    December 23, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. nom deplume

    Laverne,

    If NY puts her in, she isn't leaving except by her own choice or in a box. This country has a history of sending ridiculous, even embarrasing people back to the Senate. Couple that with NYer's obvious taste for celebrity and you have someone that NYers wouldn't vote out if she were selling nuclear secrets to Iran.

    I used to do a lot of work for Kennedys (back when I was a democrat) and people get all starry-eyed around them. Some scarily so. Other people still call Ted "president kennedy" in a Freudian slip kind of way. So I feel quite comfortable saying that she won't ever be voted out once she is installed.

    December 23, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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