January 26th, 2009
03:55 PM ET
7 months ago

Poll: Caroline Kennedy to blame for Clinton replacement process

New York Gov. David Paterson announced his pick of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.
New York Gov. David Paterson announced his pick of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

(CNN) - More than three times as many New Yorkers in a new poll blame Caroline Kennedy and her team for the messy process surrounding the search for Hillary Clinton’s Senate replacement than fault the state’s governor, David Paterson - although, on balance, his final selection meets with their approval.

Forty-nine percent of voters surveyed in a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday said Kennedy and her advisers were to blame, to 15 percent who pointed to Paterson. Twelve percent blame both, and 24 percent are undecided.

Overall, the state’s voters approve of Paterson’s selection of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, backing the pick 46 to 30 percent, with 24 percent undecided. That margin is higher upstate, where the choice of the Albany-born Gillibrand draws the approval of 55 percent of the region’s voters to 25 percent who disapprove. In New York City, that margin is far smaller: there, the conservative Democrat draws the approval of 41 percent to 34 percent who disapprove. But in the state’s suburbs, her edge falls within the survey’s 3 point margin of error: 35 percent approve, 32 percent do not.

The mother of two draws higher support from men than women in the survey: Women approve of her selection by a 44 to 31 percent margin, while men back her by 19 points, 48 to 29 percent. And the Democrat draws far more support from Republicans than she does from members of her own party — GOP voters approve of her selection by a 56 to 27 percent margin. Among Democrats, Gillibrand is backed by 41 percent to 35 percent who disapprove. Forty-nine percent of independent voters support her, to 21 percent who do not.

New Yorkers may approve of Paterson’s pick, but they’re not as happy about the path he followed to get there: 44 percent approve of his decision-making process, with 42 percent disapproving. Again, Republicans are happier about the situation than Democrats: GOP voters approve 52 to 39 percent, while Democrats are nearly evenly split, 42 to 43 percent.

Gillibrand may need that crossover support when she runs for re-election: her pro-gun stands and backing by the National Rifle Association mean 36 percent of New York’s voters, including half the state’s Democrats are less likely to support her, while only 17 percent are more likely to vote for her. Forty-one percent say it won’t affect their vote.

The Quinnipiac University survey of 1,047 New York State registered voters was conducted January 23-25. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

soundoff (280 Responses)
  1. Janet-NY

    As a resident and tax payer in NY States, I've angushed over messy process of Caroline K. Schlossberge who sounded like to lookdown and ignore upon NYers. Why I couldn't remove the thoughts from my mind ? Caroline has NOTHING PREPARED to be the NY Senator seat; even she didn't know what was her own political/economic views, rejected to open basic informations, financial/tax/criminal records, neither interview with medias....... and so on.

    Gillibrand's abilities and experiences are much much better than
    delusional woman, Caroline K. Schlossberg who spawns tax, nanny
    and marital problems. I am not interested in Caroline's nanny problem or marriage life, but IRS should scrutinize her tax record no matter what her middle name is Kennedy or not. It's time for American to period in the name of the Kennedy.

    January 26, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. A-Man

    Monrob, you make me laugh, I so pity you, maybe think about checking yourself into an institute and get some help.

    January 26, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Allen

    Blaming her for what?
    FOR BEING A KENNEDY! (Isn't that enough?)

    January 26, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. idiotinthehouse

    To those who wrote leave her alone, or the person from South Dakota who wrote 'she has a life outside politics'. Caroline brought this upon herself by entering the process. This is why so many don't enter politics because everything about your life is under the microscope. Kennedy knows this, and she attempted to gain a senate seat in the easiest possilbe way. I am from the sometimes insane west coast, so we only saw Kennedy's interviews. I know Caroline is well educated, a lawyer, however she did not come across as very articulate in those interviews. The clips we saw on the west coast almost made her sound like a valley girl...um, like you know. Its only a speech pattern, but it made her loose crediblity.

    I think it was nice she was able to withdrawl from the race when she learned she wasn't going to appointed, now we can all move forward and complain about someone else.

    January 26, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Matt

    Meh...meaningless...Paterson and Paterson is alone to blame. He is in an executive position and should have exercised his executive powers by making an executive decision without allowing himself to be swayed by any outside nonsense, no matter how loud and proud the nonsense was. The criteria are clear and can be summed up as "best person for the job based on the facts." Who lobbbied loudest for the position should have nothing to do with his decision-making, perios, so if there's anyone NYers should be pointing a finger at, it's him for allowing the process to be sensationalized and politicized.

    January 26, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. laura

    New Yorkers need to get over themselfs.

    January 26, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Cincinnatian

    Hey CNN – today's ticker stinks. Can you please give us something...anything...interesting???

    January 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    And the reason for such a stupid, time wasting poll? Who gives a big R'sA about Caroline and the rest of the crooks in the Kennedy family? Their rule is over! The most sleezed political family of all times, talk about Bill Clinton not "keeping it in has pants". NO ONE else BUT a Kennedy could get by with what that family has gotten by with over the years, starting with the power hungry patriach – Joe.

    January 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. D.Kimbro OHIO

    This may hurt the Gov, come elections time. I think he handled the situation very badly as well.

    January 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. dinah

    Caroline could have done better. She neither looked nor acted professional leaving me with the feeling that she would not be completely disappointed to give up her almost lackluster pursuit of the seat.

    January 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Kevin

    I am glad to see no one is jumping to any conclusions about the pick just because she is from Upstate NY......

    I live in Upstate NY, in the district Gillibrand covers and I haven't seen anything to suggest she is a bad choice for the Senate. We don't know who else was in the running for the seat other then Kennedy, and Kennedy was simply an outspoken person seeking the seat. Just because Kennedy wanted the seat doesn't mean she was going to just get to be Senator.

    Lets do a what if.. What if Patterson picked Gillibrand anyways if Kennedy didn't drop out.. Sure people would be a bit surprised and still asking who GIllibrand is for those who live outside her district.. I don't really believe too many people thought Kennedy had enough person experience to make a jump into the Senate.

    Maybe what would have helped Gilibrand is if she was on the Colbert Report's segment of better know a district...

    January 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Helene

    Paterson is the guilty party NOT Caroline Kennedy. Who would have made a brilliant Senator if it was not for that idiot Paterson. I will not vote for him next time, count of it !

    January 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Linda

    I disapprove of any one who supports the NRA. She may say she supports hunters, but guns kill people and I heartily disapprove of Patterson's choice!

    January 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Sammy

    What is their problem? Who cares that Kennedy said she wanted the seat. Why didnt anybody else who wanted it cause a problem? Unless.... they think Patterson is weak and is affected by this kind of thing enough to cause problems. If so... either way its his fault. All Patterson had to do was say "Thank you for your interest. Dont call me I'll call you".

    January 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Martha

    This does not make sense. Here we go again with tabloid news. Caroline did what every other person would do, launched an exploratory committee for the senate seat. So what is the hoopla in the headlines.

    January 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Helene

    For Lauren who loves Palin : Are you blind too ?

    January 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Is it telling that so many are spending time and energy on comments saying what a waste of time this is?

    January 26, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Jean, Indiana

    For what should anyone be blamed? The governor conducted a careful selection process and made a timely appointment. Gillibrand is a solid candidate who has support from a large contingent of New Yorkers who think she will serve them well.

    What's messy about that? The poll was just stirring the pot to ask such a poor question. Caroline Kennedy is a patriot who has served her country well and will continue to do so.

    Best wishes to her and Gillibrand!

    January 26, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Kennedy

    Yes and No.
    Think what Paterson has done.
    He used Caroline Kennedy to get national spot light.
    He has played around until the last minutes.
    And he picked the one who doesn't deserve the post.
    Pro-Gun and anti-immigration.
    The post was for HRC's seat and should be replaced by the one who has the same value that HRC has.

    Cuomo should run for GOV in 2010.

    January 26, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. John

    Good choice.

    January 26, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Dina-Bronx

    what is with this "blaming"?!? Certainly, Gov. Paterson made his pick and, until the next election, we have to give Ms. Gillibrand a chance. Yes, we DO need people that do not live in NYC to represent the whole state of New York. City dwellers seem to forget that there's more to NY than the 5 boroughs. And people who live outside of the 5 boroughs are probably happy with Paterson's pick, and she seems to be well spoken and is ready to get right down to work, and she is NOT a princess, like Caroline. Ms. G has experience and I hope she does well. So she's supported by the NRA. Big deal! Don't we have the right to bear arms?

    January 26, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. ObamaKennedy

    Caroline Kennedy is the surviving heir of our true Camelot monarchy. She is entitled to any high ranking positions she wants. She doesn't have to work hard to earn it because she's not a low-life commoner. Her royal bloodline alone qualifies her. The nerve of that new naive governor to not crown her senator is despicable. Obviously he still hasn't learned that Ted Kennedy is the godfather of the democratic party, and will be going after his neck soon.

    January 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. David

    Blaming Clinton? Give me a break. What accomplishments has Caroline Kennedy done? I agree with Governor Paterson with his decision to put Ms. Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton.

    January 26, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Gary

    I'm sure Caroline is a nice person and intelligent but shouldn't be considered for the senate just because of her family and name. I would think that there is a list of 10 to 20 qualified people in New York for the governor to consider all equally nice and intelligent as Kennedy. We need to get away from name recognition as a qualification of elected officials and look at their experience, character and positions. Since I don't think that anything bad happened here I can't really blame anyone for the situation

    January 26, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Donna

    Peterson's disorganization and ineptness is Caroline Kennedy's fault how, exactly?

    January 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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