January 27th, 2009
01:55 PM ET
11 months ago

New York Senate chaos takes toll on governor

Paterson's approval ratings have slipped.
Paterson's approval ratings have slipped.

(CNN)– The perceived chaos surrounding the appointment to fill Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Senate seat has taken a toll on New York's governor, according to a new poll.

New York Gov. David Paterson's approval rating has slipped 10 points over the last month, and now stands at 44 percent, according to a new survey conducted by Marist College.

Paterson - who assumed the governorship after Elliot Spitzer resigned the post - also trails New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg by six points, 47-41 percent, in a potential 2010 gubernatorial match-up. Paterson is also in a dead heat with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, should the onetime presidential candidate throw his hat into the ring. In earlier polls, Paterson held leads over both potential candidates.

Forty-six percent of New Yorkers approve of Paterson's decision to tap former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand for Clinton’s old Senate seat, while 24 percent say he made the wrong choice.

The poll also suggests Gillibrand could face a tough 2010 race, depending on who Republicans field to run against her. While she easily bests GOP Rep. Peter King by 25 points, Gillibrand is locked in a dead heat with former New York Gov. George Pataki.


Filed under: David Paterson • Kirsten Gillibrand
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. No Hillary = No Obama

    More incompetence.

    January 27, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. Ron of Baltimore

    GOV Patterson performed unnecessarily rudely toward all potential nominees in this Senate replacement fiasco. His staff should have kept him better informed, he should have asked more questions, he should have had his ear to the ground. In Illinois, at least the final outcome of that choice, Mr. Burris, was no surprise and no unknown-he had already been tested in public, and had an outstanding public service record available to everyone. Not so the NY choice.

    January 27, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. PROUD DEMOCRAT.

    I guess the Kennedy machine has it's eyes set on REVENGE!

    Too bad, it only makes them look bad.

    January 27, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It should do a little damage to him. He handled the whole thing very poorly. There was no doubt that Hillary would be confirmed, so he could have announced a replacement much sooner than he did, thereby avoiding the circus that ensued when he left everyone twisting in the wind.

    January 27, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. vobichlan

    The power to appoint comes with a serious responsibility, which includes absolute confidentiality. The NY Governor has failed in his responsibility. The leaks and noises from Mr. Paterson's office has done serious damage to Ms. Kennedy's reputation.

    A constitutional amendment is needed to do away this business of state governors appointing US senators.

    January 27, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Lesley

    I would like to see these kinds of vacancies resolved by a special election, not by appointment. The whole process is tainted as it stands now.

    January 27, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. EBC

    Governor Patterson handled the whole Hillary Clinton Senate seat in such an incompetent manner it proves his lack of political savvy or integrity.

    The fact that his office created such a circus of chaos and media leaks was just unbelievable. Governor Patterson is not new to political gossip. He step into the Governor's seat with a LOT of personal baggage in regards to his torrid marital affairs, etc. This just raises serious questions to his political competence and credibility.

    I for one thought Governor Patterson botched up the senate seat appointment process in such a disgraceful manner. He should have KNOWN better and handled it much better. I certainly would NOT be voting for him come re-election time. I'm sure I'm not alone in that regard. The word in the political circle is that his appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand just caused him any promise of re-election. Governor Patterson just cut the hands that were feeding him and you DO NOT do that in politics and expect to get re-elected. ALL is fair game when it comes to pay backs in politics. Bottom line.

    January 27, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. BB

    He was not decisive. He floundered and waited too long. Too bad.

    January 27, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Jennifer NY

    I had liked Mr. Paterson, who seems an amiable fellow, but I am not impressed with his leadership (or lack thereof). His handling of the Caroline Kennedy affair was very poor indeed, and to pick someone who does not support the President in his fiscal plans is a bad idea because this country is in deep trouble financially, and President Obama needs all of the support he can get from Dem senators....a very stupid move on Paterson's part.

    January 27, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Shirley in California

    It serves him right. Why would you place someone who loves guns in that position? At least with Caroline – you know what you would be getting.

    January 27, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Gene

    No matter who he chose, his approval rating would have slipped. It's a no win situation because you can't please everyone.

    January 27, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Jazz

    People grow up. Why is it that the Republicans always has to have the last word or think they are better than the Democrats. Give the lady a chance to prove herself wrong before judging.

    January 27, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Allen

    The Govenor could have done himself a big favor by simply telling Princess Camelot on day one "You're not qualified. Forget about it."

    January 27, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Patterson would have been better off sinning against God-–God at least would have forgiven him---the Kennedys want.

    January 27, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. MurphyMorseJohnson

    After the shabby way he treated Caroline Kennedy, Governor Paterson, an appointee himself, deserves the poor rating. At best, Paterson was nothing more than a conduit for the "New Yorker" Clintons to get back at Ted Kennedy.

    January 27, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Sylvia

    he is a strong man with the strength to stand by his decisions.....he put New York first and was not pushed around by the Kennedys...HE HAS MY VOTE!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Ed, Syracuse

    I can't wait to vote this jerk out of office. He turned that appointment into a political circus...I'd take Cuomo or Bloomberg over this clown

    January 27, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Sharon Kitchen

    Patterson made his choice. The new Senator is sworn in.
    Congress marches on.
    Battles rage on in the US , just to have a job,house,and some food.

    2010 will be here before we know it and then a new race....

    Right now.........everyone just wants to survive.
    Well.....that is, those who are not rich..........are just trying to survive.

    January 27, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Patty in the CA mountains

    Seems to me that Bloomberg is the beneficiary of all this perceived chaos....follow the money

    January 27, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Rick in WA

    It is refreshing to see a politician govern by principle and not on poll numbers.

    January 27, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. JT Johnson

    Just where do you democrats dig up some of these people anyway?

    January 27, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's see, we got rid of Kennedy, and may get Giuliani as Governor as part of the deal. I call that a two-fer.

    January 27, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Helene

    Excuse me for this un-PC pun but what does Paterson see in this NRA fan ?

    January 27, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. kim:):)

    I don't understand why the gov approveable rating has dropped.
    the gov appointed the person that is suitable for the job.,after all caroline kennedy withdrewed from the nomanation.

    January 27, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. NYS Voter

    For the life of me, I cannot understand how Caroline Kennedy's presumptuous attitude, "I'm a Kennedy, so the seat should be mine," reflects badly on the Governor.

    He's right, he probably should not have shared his day-by-day thoughts on the choice, but he did not ever say it was automatically Kennedy's to lose. He never once indicated a preference. He spoke up immediately in response to unflattering rumors, saying that no candidate had anything in his or HER past that would make that person ineligible.

    She withdrew for "personal reasons." Why isn't anyone asking Caroline Kennedy why she put herself into the spotlight, then withdrew without explanation at the very last minute?

    These are Kennedy's actions. Ask her to explain her weird behavior. Let her speak for herself. My bet? She won't speak, and she will sit by and let the press skewer the Governor rather than act like a mature adult who takes responsibility for her own actions.

    We New Yorkers are lucky we don't have to count on her. We all dodged a bullet on this one.

    January 27, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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