January 26th, 2009
03:55 PM ET
4 years 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. Jim

    How are they blaming her for the process? Shouldn't they blame the US Constitution for that?

    January 26, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. sensible Cape Coral FL


    Do you have any idea how much money downstaters contrtbute to the upstate coffers? How about a thank you once in awhile?

    January 26, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Terry

    am I the only one who doesn't understand this? Kennedy withdrew, why blame her? they don't want her anyway.

    January 26, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Marc in Virginia

    Amen, Lauren. Caroline Kennedy, just go away! I don't know why CNN keeps reporting on you. For such a seemingly educated person, you sounded like an airhead who couldn't answer even the simplest questions. Just go away.

    January 26, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. renobill

    It must be a slow news day for CNN. I can't believe anyone, other than a handful of New Yorkers gives a rats a__.

    January 26, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Jean, Indiana

    Lauren, who in the hell is Sarah Palin. Anyway.

    Kennedy is a fine women. Some of the most intelligent people are not articulate. Too bad she's not the new Senator from New York. You haters should not be mad at her because she is rich and famous.

    January 26, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. lil

    I dont know who should be blamed but she sure was slandered.

    January 26, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Mike

    Palin/Blago 2012 You betcha ! !!

    January 26, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Philip

    Why in the world would anyone blame Caroline for this mess.
    From the start the press and the media made this into a Caroline Kennedy fest, 24 hours a day all of the time. There is a reason why
    the news media and press are now scrambling to bring themselves up to date on Kirsten Gillibrand, thats because they did not cover any one else but Caroline for three months. This has been the worst example of press abuse I have seen in a long time. Now you want to turn the tables and blame her??? I don't blame her for getting out.
    It was obvious there was no interest from the media in any thing other than playing the Kennedy Family angle. Now she can get back to the work of serving her fellow human beings.

    January 26, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Forky Tongue!!!

    David Patterson made a public statement last Week That Caroline was not the most qualified person for replacement of HRC ....Caroline or anyone hearing that statement would know that he was not going to choose Caroline so she withdrew ....Gov pay back is a MOTHER .......... Gilliabrand is a Dem with a Repub Heart

    January 26, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. mark

    Good for New York!! .... People are getting fed up with the sense of entitlement that some of these political families now display.

    Caroline was not the right person and should not have tried to "musscle in" ...

    January 26, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Sorry folks, but I DON'T TRUST GOV. PATERSON

    I honestly believe that the Gov. already had his
    mind made up quite some time ago, and for some
    mysterious reason, Caroline Kennedy was not his
    pick! Why the press and many others are giving
    Caroline Kennedy such a bad reputation is beyond
    me, I think she was quite prudent in withdrawing.

    This was not so much a gender bias, as it was
    a bias against her stature as a Kennedy, this is
    very sad.

    I honestly think that the fact that Caroline likes her
    privacy, had nothing to do with Paterson's decision!
    I think they are throwing all kinds of barbs out there,
    to support their decision in choosing an unknown
    in the Gillibrand pick.

    Caroline may have been a very private individual,
    but I think that anyone who would like to do a little
    research, will find that she has been involved in
    quite a lot of good works!

    Finally I think that Paterson did a disservice to
    Caroline, while at the same time he did not do
    much to bolster his run for Gov. in 2010!

    I think both Paterson, and Gillibrand will have a
    very difficult time trying for re-election in 2010,
    my guess is that neither one will be successful!

    January 26, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Debi

    My solution for appointments is to stop them by placing an IF clause on the general election ballot.
    People in Illinois would see a box to the effect of:
    IF Senator Obama wins the seat he is currently running for which of the following candidates would you (as a voter) want appointed to Senator Obama's vacated senate seat.
    If Senator Obama wins the people (not the corrupt govenor) have the say so for who takes the vacated seat.
    Also, cut down on the corruption by demanding TERM LIMITS ON SENATE AND CONGRESS.
    I am a democrat and believe that Caroline Kennedy was not qualified for this seat and should have not even been mentioned.
    Good for Paterson for not caving to peer-pressure.

    January 26, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Karen - Missouri

    The New York governor let this whole mess get out of hand...don't blame Caroline Kennedy for the slow-moving Paterson. This time Paterson dropped the ball.I think his pick is lousy...and only made to help him during the next election.

    January 26, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Pete

    And one doesn't care, because it doesn't matter. Quit waisting your time on things that don't matter.

    January 26, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Lucieann

    What did Caroline do that yielded her so much blame? She tried her best to lobby a not-always in tune or easily provoked governor. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens in a Democratic Primary when 2010 rolls around.

    January 26, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. trickytom

    ummmm..I think that the poll is, you know,....accurate.

    January 26, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. AIPAC and neo-cons against gillibrand

    because she is not one their agents and cronies in DC.

    she has her own mind and she uses it,

    whether or not AIPAC and neo-cons agree with her.

    and that's unacceptable to AIPAC and neo-cons!

    January 26, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. steve

    I stopped paying attention when I saw that this was based on some poll.

    January 26, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. brenda

    Why would you blame her? He made the pick. Amazing.

    January 26, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. hello

    of course Caroline is not to blame, how rediculious, it was always patersons call, he could have chose a lot sooner and it would have been done.

    January 26, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Peggy

    People are so fickle. Six weeks ago, Caroline Kennedy was everyone's favorite. Now she's the scapegoat. If anyone is to blame for this fiaso, it's the governor. He should've said from the very beginning that he was going to appoint someone with experience. Instead he strung everyone along, and let Caroline Kennedy look desperate for the job. He even made a joke about it during the inauguration.

    January 26, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Unity Needed

    I am tired of hatred, blaming, negative garbage. How you ask the question shapes the answers you will get. Do we have to have a scapegoat for everything? The Americans I work with everyday see the real issues and are ready to stand up and work on solutions. If only the media would do the same. We have so much work to do to get this country back on track we don't have time to look back at the negative and petty. I agree with whoever said "Who Cares?"

    January 26, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. PATC

    Can somebody explain how this was Caroline Kennedy's fault? I am not a fan of hers but she threw her hat in the ring then withdrew her name. How does that make it her fault. Any citizen could have done the same thing.

    January 26, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Mike in NYC

    Gun control is almost certainly a dead issue. BO will not want his "bitter and clinging" comment revisited any time soon.

    “Progressive” control freaks can knock themselves out all they want with their belabored Palin comparisons, but an attractive, pro-gun mother is fine in my book.

    January 26, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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