(CNN) – A new poll suggests that the race for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat is getting interesting.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning indicates that Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand holds a 48-42 percent advantage over Republican challenger Joseph DioGuardi among likely New York State voters, with nine percent undecided. Gillibrand's lead is within the survey's sampling error.
According to the survey Gillibrand leads overwhelmingly among Democrats, DioGuardi leads overwhelmingly among Republicans, with 42 percent of independents supporting DioGuardi and 41 percent backing Gillibrand.
The poll indicates that Gillibrand holds a 49 percent approval rating, with 37 percent saying they disapprove of the job she's doing as senator. The former congresswoman from upstate New York replaced Clinton as senator early last year, after Clinton stepped down to become secretary of state.
DioGuardi is a former congressman who is also the father of former American Idol judge Karen DioGuardi. According to the poll, six out of ten haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion. The winner in November will serve out the final two years of Clinton's term.
"Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is closing in on the magic 50 percent point. But DioGuardi makes a race of it against her, even though three-fifths of New Yorkers don't know much about him," says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
A Siena College Research Institute poll also released Thursday indicates that Gillibrand leads DioGuardi 57 to 31 percent among the much larger pool of registered voters.
The survey also indicates that two-term Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer leads his little know GOP challenger Jay Townsend by a 54 to 38 percent margin.
The Quinnpiac University poll was conducted September 16-20, with 751 New York State likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN