(CNN) - Democrats hold leads of at least 20 points in New York State's gubernatorial contest and the two races for the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll.
Hours before he campaigns with former President Bill Clinton in New York City, a Quinnipiac University survey indicates that state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Democrats' gubernatorial nominee, holds a 55 to 35 percent advantage among likely voters over Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, the Republican nominee, with seven percent undecided. Cuomo's 20 point lead is up slightly from an 18 point advantage earlier this month.
According to the poll, Cuomo has the backing of 88 percent of Democrats, holds a 44 to 41 point margin over Paladino among independent voters, and even wins the support of nearly one in five Republicans.
The survey indicates that Cuomo has a 55 percent favorable rating, with only one in three having an unfavorable opinion of the son of former three-term Gov. Mario Cuomo. Fifty-seven percent of New Yorkers have an unfavorable opinion of Paladino, with 29 percent seeing him in a positive light. Comments by Paladino over the past month and a half have sparked controversies.
"That Republican wave that's said to be sweeping the country runs into a levee – a dam, a blockade, whatever figure of speech you like – at the New York border probably because of Carl Paladino's foot-in-mouth disease. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo can start measuring the executive mansion curtains. This race is all but over," says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The winner in November will succeed Democratic Gov. David Paterson, who earlier this year announced that he would not run for a full term in office.
In the state's two Senate contests, the poll indicates that Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand holds a 57 to 34 percent lead over Republican challenger Joseph DioGuardi.
Gillibrand was named to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton early last year after Clinton stepped down to become secretary of state. DioGuardi is a former congressman and the father of former American Idol judge Karen DioGuardi. The winner in November will serve out the final two years of Clinton's term.
In New York's other Senate contest, the poll indicates that two-term Sen. Chuck Schumer leads his little known GOP challenger Jay Townsend by a two to one margin, 64 to 32 percent.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted October 18-24, with 672 likely voters in New York State questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
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