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. Steve

    NY is a joke!! It is quickly fading as a National Icon and turning into the Alabama of the Northeast. When will they realize that noone cares how NY fares in the country? NYC is a drain on the rest of the state! Instead of worrying about the Kennedy's and popularity contest, they should elect intelligent people to turn their economy around.

    I am a former Central New Yorker, and I believe there are far more intelligent candidates in Upstate or Central NY then you will find in the City. It's unfortunate that the entire state suffers due to the NYC crowd.

    January 26, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. G

    Like Caroline cares! She cared so much about NY that she dropped out of the race.

    January 26, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. herbie

    BLAME! BLAME! BLAME! CAN'T TAK ERESPONSIBILTY AND TELL THE TRUTH.

    January 26, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Belinda

    excuse me! what does Caroline have to do with hitlary? and that was NOT a key mistroke, – that socialist has only herself to blame for all the problems in her own life, this is one Kennedy that didn't have a thing to do with hairy hilary's sthick this time

    January 26, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. Alicia

    Hillary is behind this. She is so mad with sour grapes because the Kennedys supported Obama and not her.

    Hillary is the culprit.

    January 26, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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