(CNN) – New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo holds large leads over all three of his possible Republican opponents in this year's battle for Empire State governor, according to a new poll.
The Siena Research Institute survey, released Monday morning, comes two days after Cuomo officially announced his gubernatorial bid and one day before New York State Democrats and Republicans hold nominating conventions. The survey was conducted before Cuomo formally launched his bid.
The poll indicates Cuomo leads former Rep. Rick Lazio by 42 points, 66 percent to 24 percent, and tops Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a Democrat turned Republican, and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino by the same margin, 65 percent to 22 percent, in each case.
According to the survey, Lazio has a 13-point advantage over Paladino and 15-point lead over Levy in the battle for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
Cuomo, the son of former three-term New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, has been widely expected for many months to make a bid to be the state's next chief executive.
"Cuomo has been the prohibitive favorite to be elected New York's next governor, even before he officially declared his candidacy. With a little more than five months until Election Day, nothing has happened to change that dynamic," says Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. "He is viewed more favorably than any candidate in New York, and he has forty-plus-point leads over all three declared candidates for the Republican nomination."
New York's current governor, fellow Democrat David Paterson, announced in March that he would not run this year for a full term in office. Paterson became governor in 2008 after Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace following a sex scandal.
The 52-year-old Cuomo was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during former President Bill Clinton's second term. He had an unsuccessful run for New York's Democratic gubernatorial nod in 2002, which was followed by a messy public divorce from his wife, Kerry Kennedy. Cuomo bounced back in 2006 by being elected the state's attorney general. As his office has investigated corruption on Wall Street, Cuomo has been back in the national spotlight in the past two years.
In the battle for the Senate, the poll indicates Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has her highest favorability rating ever in Siena surveys, with 42 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of her and 24 percent holding an unfavorable view. According to the survey, Gillibrand tops 50 percent in hypothetical general election matchups against all three possible GOP opponents.
Gillibrand, who represented an upstate New York congressional district, was appointed to the Senate early last year by Gov. Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton, who stepped down to become Secretary of State. Gillibrand is running this year to serve out the remaining two years of Clinton's term.
The Siena Research Institute poll was conducted May 17-20 and surveyed 905 New York State registered voters by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
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