December 17th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Kennedy not the clear favorite for Senate seat, poll says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="New Yorkers are roughly divided on who they want to be their next senator."](CNN) - A new poll out Wednesday suggests there is no clear favorite among New Yorkers on who they think should replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate - and despite the buzz over Caroline Kennedy, the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat is not necessarily hers for the taking.

According to a new survey from Siena College, 26 percent of New York voters and 30 percent of New York Democrats favor another potential pick with a famous last name - current New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, the son of former governor Mario Cuomo.

Some 23 percent of New York voters - and 28 percent of Democrats - want Kennedy to get the post. Nearly one in five preferred one of the othe Democrats often mentioned for the post, and another one in five had no preference for their next U.S. Senator.

The top two potential choices also have nearly identical favorability ratings - 58-21 percent for Kennedy and 59-24 percent for Cuomo.

"Both Kennedy and Cuomo have high name recognition among New Yorkers, and Cuomo has run for - and won - statewide office, which may help him marginally," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Since the poll was done before Kennedy's officially announced her interest in the Senate seat, it's possible her support today is a little higher than it was before her announcement. But ultimately, the choice will be made by the Governor, not the voters of New York."

But while New Yorkers may be roughly divided on who they think should be named to the post, 31 percent believe Gov. David Paterson will ultimately pick Kennedy compared to the 16 percent who say Cuomo will get it.

Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • Popular Posts
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. BS not Maverick

    you are looking at the poll upside down, silly rabbit!

    December 17, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. RR

    Geez! Why don't we just appoint Ted King or Caroline Queen, so the Kennedys can have their dynasty already!

    December 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Annie the Democrat

    Let's hope the Gov. of New York doesn't cave into the pressure being placed on him by the Kennedys and Reid to pick Caroline.

    Americans have had enough of the Corruption and Special Favors expected by politicians.

    If Gov. Patterson GIVES AWAY the Senate Seat to Caroline simply because she is a Kennedy then he is not better than Gov. Bog of Illinois. One expects monetary reimbursement while the other will expect special favors in the future.


    There are several ELECTED officials in New York who have won the hearts and trust of the voters and they deserve and have EARNED the right to the Senate Seat.

    If Caroline is serious about being a Senator then she should EARN it by running in 2010 just like every other person who isn't in office would be required to do.

    December 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Neil Diamond

    Sweet Caroline...

    December 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. jaye

    She's way more qualified that that silly Palin was....and Palin was running for VP.
    Leave Carolina alone – she's a brilliant woman and will serve New York, and our country, well.

    December 17, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. NO to Caroline

    She has dissed the public for 40 years and now she wants to represent them. Silly, Silly, Girl.

    December 17, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Allen, Texas

    Caroline Kennedy is not qualified to run for Govenor of Alaska, but because she is the last living link to Camelot, I'm sure she will get the job....of Senator, of course. How can anyone want to put more leftist in the Senate.

    Look at the states run by Democrats...Illinois, New York, Michigan and California (Arnold's no Repub...). These places are broke, suffering, corrupt and hopeless. Just another nail in America's coffin.

    December 17, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. chuck


    December 17, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. rachel

    Oh well, I really dont think anyone should get appointed to a senate seat. They should have to run and get elected... so caroline or cuomo should have to run like Clinton, it should be up to the people of new york and if they are looking for someone with a name so be it.

    December 17, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. J S Ragman

    I have always admired the Kennedy family but kept it in perspective and not worshipped them. Maybe I'm sounding old fashioned but the tattoo needs to go. Her parents must be rolling over in their graves. What is it with all of these highly intelligent(?) young people getting tattoos. Don't any of them realize that this is often a knee-jerk decision with possible long term ramifications?

    December 17, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. energy

    I wonder why people like Roland Martin believes Caroline Kennedy is qualified for senate, while Serah Palin, a sitting governor, is not fit for anything? CNN's Campbell Brown should weigh in on this one. Kennedy or Palin, who is more qualified?

    December 17, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. tired of corporate politics

    Obama fans: NO to Washington dynasties (a few months ago)
    Obama fans: I mean, eh, YES (today)

    The Ministry of Truth (1984) says we have never been at war with the dynasties as of now.

    Isn't there a website that shows who we like and who we make fun of currently?

    December 17, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. tor

    Caroline Kennedy is the nice of the slain senator of New York Robert Kennedy; let his legacy live by appointing her as the next senator of New York

    December 17, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. LIP

    Surely a state like New York with the greatest ethnic diversity of the US, has more qualified people than Caroline Kennedy for this Senate seat. Ms Kennedy is just one person amongst millions...can't anyone come up with anyone...maybe Fran Drescher, as she has been an advocate for many issues and has truly done a great deal to deserve at the very least, an opportunity to be amongst the running.

    December 17, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Buck Jackson

    Are than any other children of dead Presidents around that can also be nominated? I mean, if that is the leading qualification...

    I have nothing against Caroline Kennedy. I respect her charitable work as well as her education. However, she is hardly qualified to be a US Senator. Her appointment would be largely legacy and socially divisive. Let's get somebody in there with relevant and tangible experience.

    In terms of qualification... Paris Hilton. Put brains in her head, give her an education, and have her do some charity work and you have Caroline Kennedy.

    December 17, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Frederick in VA

    Caroline Kennedy is the most famous so she will get it. That is why Hillary Clinton won so easily when she did, she is famous... the culture of celebrity dictates the decision when talking about places like NY or CA.

    December 17, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Karen

    Given the fact that Obama's cabinet is turning out to be 80% male I think it is especially important that this seat go to a woman. That said, there are plenty of elected, qualified women in NY who deserve this seat before Caroline Kennedy. Caroline Kennedy is only being considered for this seat as political payback for her support of Obama. What a foolish thing to do in the wake of the IL scandal over his seat. If Caroline Kennedy is suddenly so interested in public office let her actually RUN for office the way Hillary had the guts to do.

    December 17, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Mobius

    Cuomo? Kennedy?

    What happened to, um, Change?

    December 17, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Biff

    is it me???

    or is there NO coverage here on cnn about Dick Cheney ADMITTING to his role in waterboarding.......

    do you guys understand this??? the vice president of the united states sat on television in a interview and ADMITTED TO A WAR CRIME.


    December 17, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. D.Tin

    Are there any other potential female candidates? It would make sense that Hillary's replacement also be a female. So at this time Caroline Kennedy seems like a good pick. She is new and young, and yes her "lack" of experience in politics may be a good thing right now. Personally I think all those "lifelong" Senators need to vacate the Senate, we need new faces, new ideas and new talents to lead us forward.

    December 17, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Upstate New York Voter

    Apparently what's good for New York State, the WHOLE state, is of little interest or concern to powerful Democrats.

    Who cares if only 23 % of New Yorkers (the plain ordinary ones who haven't moved out of the state yet and just pay the OUTLANDISH taxes) think Kennedy is a good choice?

    What Harry Reid over in Nevada (WHERE??) thinks is much more important.

    If Paterson picks a New York City type who has NEVER even been to Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and all the other boring, uncool places that desperately need help, it may be the last pick Paterson gets to make.

    And ps, Miss Caroline, the job isn't about fund raising among the very rich – it actually requires work, knowledge and some fight. You got up one morning and said, "OOh, I think I want to play senator – until it gets tough, not so pretty and causes me to shake hands with just anyone."

    I say, go back to bed.

    December 17, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Uncle S.A.M.-Virginia

    I think Caroline is the right person for the job. She's not a career politician like Cuomo is. On top of that, I like the kennedy family better than the Cuomos.

    December 17, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Allison

    So the current qualifications for U.S. Senate are to kiss up to Obama, stab Hillary Clinton in the back, throw some big bucks at the Dem party, have the President-elect and your Uncle Teddy make some calls on your behalf and you're in. What a joke!!!

    December 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Larry

    "Both Kennedy and Cuomo have high name recognition among New Yorkers, and
    Cuomo has run for — and won — statewide office, which may help him marginally," MAY help him maginally????????

    Doesn't" experience "make any difference to Democrats any more,I know it meant nothing for your choice for president,but it appears that if you didn't get experience with the Clinton admin.,you just don't need it!!

    It's all in the name

    December 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. EW

    No more name recognition politics! We fought the British over this kind of thing in 1776. The political "dynasties" must be ended.

    December 17, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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