(CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for governor.
New York's independent mayor gave his backing to the Democrat's gubernatorial nominee Wednesday at an event outside City Hall.
The endorsement comes as a new poll suggests that the gubernatorial battle between Cuomo and Buffalo businessman and developer Carl Paladino, the Republican nominee, is tightening up.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey, 49 percent of likely voters in New York State support state attorney general Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic nominee for governor, with 43 percent backing Republican nominee Carl Paladino and seven percent undecided. Cuomo's six point margin is just within the poll's sampling error.
Last week Paladino defeated former Rep. Rick Lazio in New York's primary contest for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Paladino enjoyed the support of many Tea Party activists while Lazio was considered the choice of establishment Republicans.
The poll, released Wednesday morning, indicates Cuomo leads among Democrats 87 to 8 percent, with Paladino holding an 83 to 13 percent advantage among Republican voters, and edging out Cuomo 49 to 43 percent among Independent voters. The survey suggests a gender gap, with Cuomo leading among women by 20 points but Paladino holding a small three point margin among men.
According to the poll, Paladino holds a 77 to 18 percent advantage among the 18 percent who said they considered themselves part of the Tea Party movement.
The survey is the first by Quinnipiac since last week's primary. Cuomo held large leads over Paladino in hypothetical general election matchups in polls conducted before the primary. Those surveys questioned a larger pool of all registered voters, unlike the new poll which questioned just those likely to vote in the general election.
"The question was whether Carl Paladino would get a bounce from his big Republican primary victory. The answer is yes. He's within shouting distance and – you can count on it – he will be shouting," says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Bloomberg, the three-term mayor who is a Democrat turned Republican turned independent, has become somewhat of a king maker this election cycle. Candidates from both parties have sought his endorsement and support, and Bloomberg has backed both Democrats and Republicans.
Cuomo is the son of former three-term New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. The winner of November's election will succeed Democratic Gov. David Paterson, who decided against running for a full term in office this year. Then-Lt. Gov. Paterson succeeded Elliot Spitzer as governor in 2008, after Spitzer stepped down following a prostitution scandal.
Paladino is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and Syracuse University School of Law. He has built a real estate business worth millions and also remains active in his law practice.
Paladino, 64, is being criticized for controversial comments he has made and public policy positions put forth.
He reportedly called former New York Republican Gov. George Pataki a "degenerate idiot" and lashed out at the Republican establishment during the campaign against Lazio.
He promised to "take a baseball bat to Albany" - the state capital; is outspoken against plans to build an Islamic community center near ground zero in lower Manhattan - even suggesting that the state take control of the area through eminent domain; and is steadfastly anti-abortion, even in cases of incest and rape.
Paladino recently told CNN's Rick Sanchez that he is not politically correct and "never will be."
"I'm not a person looking for money. I have no political ambitions what so ever. I don't seek power. I don't seek any kind of praise. I have no ego to fulfill."
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted September 16-20, with 751 likely voters in New York State questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.