January 26th, 2009
03:55 PM ET
10 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. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Absolutely!

    Caroline Kennedy's conduct throughout this entire affair has been shameless!

    She never should have "demanded" the seat to begin with. Her voting record as a private citizen (none), and isolation from all things political except as they concerned JFK or his library should have been a disqualifier not a qualifier.

    And her supporters getting outraged at the process? Come on, who do these people think they are.

    And Senator Feingold's proposal to change the process because of the outcome in Illinois and New York because "...he is not satisified and neither are the American people with the outcome"?

    Let the states decide how they choose a replacement/seat warmer, and let Washington stay out of it. After all, Washington track record of late regarding how they run the government and regulate business pretty much sucks.

    Back to it, clearly Caroline Kennedy botched how she handled this entire affair.

    January 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. John Doe

    umm, you know, umm, this, you know, could have, umm, been alot easier, you know, if, um, the governor, you know, would have, umm, just listened, you know, to my, umm, uncle Teddy, you know...

    January 26, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. catherine

    Barack is already better than Hillary

    January 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Kennedy

    That's because New Yorkers know the fact that we cannot blame Paterson because he is not capable of anything.

    January 26, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. yellowdoggie

    I can understand why people might not like Caroline or might not think she is qualified. But what I fail to understand is how anyone can "blame" her for Paterson being such a dork. New York is so pitiful! Their governor resigns in disgrace so they get saddled with Paterson, and now he's proving to be a jerk. I hope Gillibrand is a good Senator, for all our sakes. Sheesh!

    January 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Jane

    Ridiculous

    January 26, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Chris, Albany, NY

    Listen, it dosn't matter what any of you say unless you're from NY! I didn't really care who Patterson picked. Hillary didn't do anything for us in her years in the Senate, and Gillibrand is a HORRIBLE pick. I hope she has other Dem. opponents to run against in the primary because I refuse to vote for this woman!

    January 26, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Putin still invading Alaskan airspace between Palin's ears

    Will the press share any responsibility in this nightmare? Of course not! Just like the march into IRAQ right behind George Bush, and now it's like it never happened. The media put more time and energy into this issue than they did during the eight year reign of Bush and Co.

    January 26, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Carl Trimble

    WOW Isn't she the chosen one-being a Kenndy

    January 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. CK4NYSenate2010

    Gov Paterson is the biggest joke since the invention of Blagojevich, but of course CNN and others will confect and propagate a "poll" that will fit their agenda.

    January 26, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. greg

    so all the umms and ah , that the god obama has spoken,,, many times without a dick and jane prompter..all u have the audacity to smite caroline,, whom , i recall ,, was a daughter of one of the best prez in history,, u have compared him to the god obama,, wow,, ,, as if ..i am so glad i did vote 4 the first in my life ,, republican,, i am not ashamed at all,,, reap with the wind,, what ye shall sow,,, im gay btw,,, so ,, i like my guns and land and what little $$ i have,,

    January 26, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Ruth

    Here we go again. Cry babies pointing fingers and blaming others for everything that dosen't go their way. GROW UP!

    January 26, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Maggie in NY

    CNN – would you please get my comment out of moderation and either put it in or remove it so I can stop wondering if you'll publish it? Thank you.

    January 26, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Meh

    Um. Blame her for what, exactly? Patterson can't chose someone b/c Kennedy threw her hat in the ring? Errrrrr

    January 26, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. peterrice

    Paterson's selection process for Senator reminds me of incomptent Alabama politics, dumber than dumb.
    Thanks

    January 26, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    Like, who really cares. This sounds like a Campbell Brown hate story, which she is so good at... Get Real CNN and quit with the mean hearted stuff you have become so good at. Leave Caroline alone, hasn't her life been messed up enough by political hate. No wonder she decided to back out. I'm sure she realized that you mean spirited news folks would be right on her.

    January 26, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Winston Smith

    Moderates Unite!: It should surprise no one that the libs in NYC would not approve of KG as much as the folks upstate do…Quinnipiac should do a survey on how many people in NYC think that the rest of the USA revolves around them.
    --------------------------–
    YOU sound more like a NEO CON than a moderate.
    Nice try little man.

    January 26, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Gene72

    Does anyone work ""lay bricks,build houses,wash windows, etc.etc""anymore or do they just keep talking about what is going on??? We do not need all these talk showes.

    January 26, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. AEK

    I'm sorry, but as a prairie dweller I'm thinking that this is a spat best left to the good folks in New York State (yawn). Looked from here like a ploy to pander to the upstate Republicans by giving away a Democratic Senate seat (Oh, she is a Democrat...hummmmm). That'll go over great when it's federal funding time for the Big Apple. In the meantime the rest of us would like some real news!

    January 26, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. S. Allen

    It's always tough to pick a good replacement for someone who has done such a poor job of representing the state but a great job of representing her self interests.

    New York deserves better and someday they will realize it.

    January 26, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. S. Allen

    It's always tough to pick a good replacement for someone who has done such a poor job of representing the state but a great job of representing her self interests.

    New York deserves better and someday they will realize it.

    January 26, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. S. Allen

    It's always tough to pick a good replacement for someone who has done such a poor job of representing the state but a great job of representing her self interests.

    New York deserves better and someday they will realize it.

    January 26, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Rula Lenska

    She withdrew her name because she knew she wasn't going to get it. End of story. No one cares anymore.

    January 26, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Fred L. Fraud

    I was polled once. Hurt like the dickens :O

    January 26, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Noah from Chicago

    CNN:
    You’ve posted some useless polls before but this on takes the cake. Governor Patterson took his time to make the right decision which had nothing to do with Caroline Kennedy and no party is to blame for the process.

    January 26, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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