January 15th, 2010
01:38 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Gillibrand leads Ford Jr. in primary matchup

Poll: Gillibrand leads Ford Jr. in primary matchup.
Poll: Gillibrand leads Ford Jr. in primary matchup.

(CNN) - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York holds a double digit lead over a potential Democratic challenger, according to a new poll.

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee this week announced he's considering a primary challenge to Gillibrand, a former congresswoman from upstate New York who was was named a year ago to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton, who stepped down from her Senate seat after being confirmed as secretary of state. Gillibrand is running this year to serve the final two years of Clinton's term. Ford, a former five-term congressman who narrowly lost a 2006 bid for the Senate in Tennessee, now lives in New York.

A Marist College poll released Friday indicates that Gillibrand leads Ford 43 to 24 percent in a hypothetical Democratic party primary match up, with 33 percent undecided.

"Gillibrand has an early lead, but she still has a lot of ground to cover," says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "She's below 50 percent against Ford, and a third of Democrats is undecided. Her approval rating among Democrats statewide is only 31 percent."


Ford's move may anger the White House, which supports Gillibrand and has helped clear the field of any potential Democratic rivals. According to the poll, Democrats are split over whether President Barack Obama's backing would make them vote for a particular candidate.

Republicans are without a big name candidate at this time. Former New York City Mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has said no to a senate run, as has nine-term Rep. Peter King. Former New York State Gov. George Pataki appears non-committal about making a bid.

The Marist College poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, with 855 registered New York State voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Kirsten Gillibrand • Polls • Senate Race
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Jane/Seattle

    Yes, this is good if it holds. Anarchy is looking better everyday! Throw them all out, establish new, minimal, unstacked rules, look for personal impeccability/integrity and voila! We The People can take out country back!

    Throw all the laws out as they are seldom enforced except for the poor, unconnected folks who the laws are actually written to oppress! Our real hope is in US and our real Change will come when we take the power we hold as the true Majority! Shhh..The elites are the Minority! You Abolish their system and it will crumble! Stay out of the banks and stores enmass and they will be the ones begging! Right now they are taking not asking! Ya Digg? Peace

    January 15, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. GOPer

    Good – Sack the Carpet Baggers!

    January 15, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    Ford's move may anger the White House.
    -----------------–
    So what! The people of NY will decide and NOT the White House! Just like in New Jersey and Virginia and hopefully Mass! Frankly, I am not A DEM and would not mind seeing them split the dem vote and make room for an independent or GOP candidate!

    January 15, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    Liar vs. Carpetbagger. Who cares....this seat will fall too. If we could get Charles "The Arrogant" Schumer out of there any sooner, that would be good..... but unfortunately we have to wait.

    January 15, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Mike in NYC

    So when is someone going to call him a "carpetbagger"? That's what he is, no?

    January 15, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Joshua College Station Texas

    Democrats excited about change have not been excited about intransigence in Washington and the bureaucratic gridlock that exists because of hyperpartisanship. Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans.

    Term limits, and throw the bums out, that's what needs to happen. These career politicians are in it for the strategy, the game, the payouts, and the votes, not for the people, the policy or the ideals.

    We need normal people to serve as politicians for brief periods who will have average (non-extreme) views and a willingness to work together and find consensus about everyday issues. Instead we have super wealthy, super clever, moderately to severely dishonest tacticians who seek narrow agendas including, primarily, staying in power and enjoying the fruits of endless bribes and payoffs of the highest bidders and lobbyists. It's sick and it's no different from other corrupt countries that we as Americans esteem so poorly. The only thing that saves us is the rule of law and being on a good trajectory thanks to the foundations established by the Founding Fathers.

    January 15, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. TNelson

    Shumer's Puppet may lead now but if Hillary can do it than Ford can do it.....right Chucky!!!!!

    January 15, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Blue Dogs 2010

    Ford Jr., may get Bloomberg's backing if not already and the big lead Gillibrand holds will fade.

    NY State needs to move up their primary to June or April next time and soon.

    January 15, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    What did Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee think he was doing some form of reverse carpet bagger. We here in NYS have plenty of qualified people from this state to represent us. Go back to Tennessee sir.

    January 15, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Mike

    There is plenty of time for Ford to pull this out considering he has only announced that he is thinking of running. At least he may not be a lap dog for nobama like the woman he is thinking of running against.

    January 15, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. gt

    ford would do a great job....

    January 15, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. robin

    As a resident of Tennessee – I found Harold Ford to be so conservative that I could not really differentiate him from his republican opponents. I have a hard time seeing how New Yorkers are going to embrace his views – unless he has had a dramatic 'reconsideration" of his social views. all of them.

    January 15, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    For New Yorkers, I think Kirsten is the better of the two, and am sure she will win.

    January 15, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. unemployed by Obama

    Dems are at it again, Tax and spend, and ohhhh there goes all your money to Hati. Courtesy of Obama and the other Tax and spend Democrates.

    January 15, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Zach K

    The best senator right now. She's done marvelous in her first four years in Congress.

    She deserves reelection. Keep it going Gillibrand!

    January 15, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Dodd Democrat...

    My vote is for FORD, he will make a difference. Unfortunately, Gillibrand doesn't know what she is doing.

    Go FORD!!!

    January 15, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. John, Brooklyn, NY

    The appointment of Gillibrand was a bad, bad, bad idea.

    In a bazaarly uninformed move, Governor Patterson chose to appoint Gillibrand in order to have a replacement for Hillary Clinton who would be attractive upstate. What his advisors forgot to tell him is that NOT A SINGLE CANDIDATE for US Senate from New York from outside of the immediate NYC area has won in a general election since the early 60's!!!!

    Gillibrand does not represent the views of her own party – let alone the views of the vast majority of New Yorkers. She should step aside.

    January 15, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Bob of Lompoc

    Goodness. And the Republicans brag that Palin, or Bachmann are goodf looking? Ha! Neither one can carry this babes purse. Whew.

    January 15, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |