January 18th, 2010
11:35 AM ET
4 years ago

Second poll indicates Gillibrand topping Ford

In a new poll, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand holds a double digit lead over a potential Democratic challenger.
In a new poll, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand holds a double digit lead over a potential Democratic challenger.

(CNN) - A second straight poll of New York State voters indicates that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York holds a double digit lead over a potential Democratic challenger.

But the Siena Research Institute survey, released Monday, also indicates that more New Yorkers have an unfavorable view of Gillibrand than have a favorable view.

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee last 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.

According the the Siena poll, Gillibrand leads Ford 41 to 17 percent in a hypothetical Democratic party primary match up, with 37 percent undecided. Gillibrand had a 19 point advantage over Ford in a Marist College survey released Friday, with one in three voters undecided.

But some other results in the poll also spells trouble for Gillibrand.

"After one year as senator, for the first time ever, more voters (32 percent) view Gillibrand unfavorably than those (30 percent) who view her favorably," says Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

The survey also indicates that 29 percent want to elect Gillibrand, with 45 percent saying they'd perfer someone else.

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 Marist 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 has not indicated that he wants to make a bid. According to the Siena poll, Pataki tops Gillibrand 51 to 38 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup, with the former New York governor beating Ford by an even larger 54 to 32 percent margin.

The Siena was conducted January 10-14, with 806 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: Harold Ford Jr. • Kirsten Gillibrand
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Steve, NY

    Because of this Obama Hhealth Plan that are screwing the Seniors, she definetely is not popular with the Seniors. They are the ones that will vote in huge numbers against the Democrats,. A good name Republican is a must against her and she will loose.

    January 18, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. southerncousin

    Hopefully, the "Obama effect" will enter in to this election and neither one of them will actually be elected. Obamas, ineptness, greediness, partisanship and just plain stupidity.

    January 18, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Dutch the Great

    Gillibrand has this seat locked. I like Ford, but I don't think he's the guy for NY.

    January 18, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Scott, Tucson

    Give her a few more years and Ms. Gillibrand could be a good Democratic choice for President, of course it appears that the left wing fraction of the NY Dem's don't like her.

    January 18, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. jane trahey

    "...more New Yorkers have an unfavorable view of Gillibrand than have a favorable view."

    This is because of negative cheerleading by the New York City press, which hasn't gotten over their belief that they were robbed of a celebrity senator when Caroline Kennedy withdrew.

    If the polls were to ask the "unfavorables" why they don't want Gillibrand, they'd be hard put to give an answer. Most New Yorkers don't know who she is yet.

    Once the serious campaigning gets under way all that will change.

    January 18, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Obama Victim

    what does it matter...whoever the loser dems run will go down

    January 18, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. lia

    Ford just didn't think this one through. Speaks volumes about his strategic leadership.

    He should move to SC and work on Jim DeMint's seat.

    January 18, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Kevin

    That headline made me LOL'D

    January 18, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. "No one gets to walk between the rain." (Quote from Bob Seger); Randall in Torrance, CA (with two Master's Degrees from WWU)

    This shows how sToOpiD Republicans are. They obviously give Jarge Bush high ratings for wrecking America and driving us into the ditch of no return. Giilibrand should get a job at McDoanlds to see how most Americans struggle, but these GOP hicks from Nazi New York are brainwashed zombie loyalist troopers in the fight against themselves and the middle class. Thank God there is an army of Democrats who still stand up for the middle class, the Constitution, the environment and health care reform. Hey New York GOP – you are retarded. Stop getting too close to each other in the poll booths – we have enough trouble with the inbred GOP elsewhere. Don't make your species worse than they already are.

    January 18, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Sen. Kirsten is gonna win this one. She's actually different, let's say. But I do expect her to take it pretty comfortably.

    January 18, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. jr

    Never a Republican!!!

    January 18, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Zach K

    Gillibrand is the best Senator. New York would be blind not to elect her to a full term.

    January 18, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    How long has Ford been in NY? Has it been long enough to know the desires of the people of NY? NY and TN are not the same animal! I don't live there and NY can and will vote as they see fit but carbetbagger anyone?

    January 18, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. rob

    shes toast–all the dems that aren't doing the peoples work are going to be toast . and shes one of them.

    January 18, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Harry Nevada Reid

    Hey, I just don't get it. Harold is clean and light-skinned and certainly does not speak with a Negro accent. He should be winning, no?

    January 18, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Miriam

    To all the NY Dems, shame on you for knuckling under to the WH.
    To the NY Republicans, you see what's happening in Mass.?
    This former Democrat is hoping with all her heart that a guy she hadn't heard of a month ago beats a woman Democrat.
    Heck, I'd even send money except my health insurance premium went up 40% and because this bill strips away the protections of NYS law, they'll at least double if it passes.

    January 18, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. File under "Sarcasm"

    The real point is not that she's better than a lousy challenger, it's that people don't want to re-elect her even if she wins the primary. Looks like another Senate race where the Campaigner in Chief is going to have to make special appearances.

    The liberal media is not connecting the dots to see the real story that the American people have run out of patience with the Democrats and are in a "throw the bum out" voting mood.

    January 18, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. ISAYS

    The firestorms has started... Throw out all the democtrats! Throw out all the Republican's too. Lets elect all Independents next election. Could it be any worse????? Where's Lou Dobbs when you need him?

    January 18, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. ted

    Upstate New Yorkers will not support some clown from south of the mason dixon line. The only way to win in Upstate New York is to be from there.

    January 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. R.O.B.

    Well Harold Ford jr., All I can say is that you have your work cut out for you. Maybe you can do like Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Go out and be on a more personal level with the citizens and win them over. You have time if you really want it that bad.

    January 18, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. TexasJack

    Is this message getting to you Democrats. Americans are taking their country back. We will vote all incumbents out of office especially all Democrats.

    January 18, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    "But the Siena Research Institute survey, released Monday, also indicates that more New Yorkers have an unfavorable view of Gillibrand than have a favorable view."

    CNN – I am SICK of your headlines and your POLLS – you say one thing in one paragraph and then say something contradicting in another. STICK to one story and one headline....Jeez!!

    January 18, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. wait a minute

    Ford is good for Gillibrand. Coakley did not have a challenger within her party so she is under lots of pressure now.

    January 18, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |