December 17th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
12 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. dz in Austin

    I'm a life time Democrat and I LOVE the Kennedy's and all their good works. That doesn't mean Caroline (wonderful as she may be) should automatically go to the top rung of the ladder. I'd like to see her earn it just like Hillary did, by going to the people and asking their permission to serve them. You can't just all of a sudden decide you want to play too, and you should get to bat first. Caroline hasn't earned that position. This isn't Camelot, it's the real world.

    December 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    Good, let her be the Senate for NY and see U all in 2010!

    December 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. J.P.

    Yeah, is there anyone else, ANYONE, ANYONE else besides a Kennedy, Clinton or Bush qualified to run for office in this country?

    When does the revolution begin? Oh, I'm sorry to have bothered you and diverted your attention away from your iPod or other technological life-distraction.

    December 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Tina

    What a slap in the face to Hillary Clinton and her supporters. How would Obama feel if his seat was given to someone who betrayed him?

    December 17, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. CanIcallyouJoe

    The only reason she is being considered is because of her name.

    I work in the computer industry. I have numerous certifications from industry organizations and awards from industry authorities.

    My sister, however, cannot "cut and paste" to save her life.

    Having the same last name does not mean a person would do well in the same position.

    December 17, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Laura, Boston

    Is Governor Paterson beholden to the Kennedy's. If not, than why shouldn't he choose the most qualified candidate.

    People say Hillary wasn't qualified but she had to campaign for her seat and worked extremely hard to win the seat to begin with. It wasn't given to her because of her name.

    Sure "Camelot" buffs want a fantasy again to bring them back to the days but reality says we live in a rough world. Terriorism hit New York and New York needs the most qualified person not the most romantic one to become the junior Senator.

    December 17, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. AJ

    The overwhelming sense of entitlement that Caroline Kennedy has shown by even asking for this office is astounding. Caroline Kennedy has done no public service nor had the gumption to fight the good fight over the past eight years. If Caroline Kennedy is serious about public service she should actually run for office and gain her seat by convincing the most voters that she is the one for the job. Go back to your Park Avenue apartment Caroline, you know nothing about the lives of ordinary Americans nor do we think you really care.

    December 17, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Spider


    Kings and Queens are not "appointed".
    The Kennedy's have had a political dynasty since the 50's.

    Ten bucks says you're one of those Obominations that has just been awakened to the political landscape. One filled with Hope for Change. Happy hoping, friend.

    December 17, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Mike, Syracuse NY

    As sad as Caroline's family history is, it's not a good reason to appoint her Senator. Cuomo is vastly better qualified.

    December 17, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. mike

    I dont think she get the seat either and please Rolan Martin, just because she supported Obama do not compare her to Hillary. Hillary was elected twice.

    December 17, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Ngwa Emmanuel

    Let us give this lady a chance may she has some thing to prove.

    December 17, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. New Yorker

    After all, she is not a Chicagoan, or a lawyer or politician from Ilinois.

    December 17, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |

    she is waaaaaaaaaaay qualified more than Hillary Clinton before the former first-lady was elected as a senator!

    Caroline Kennedy's heart and soul has always been for NY and she has championed education and civil rights isssues far more than these career politicians who are quick to call her names and say that her name recognition is equal to J-lo!

    she is not a politician; but in these difficult and trying times, she is willing to STEP UP and take the challenge and fight for ordinary americans. GIVE HER A BREAK!


    December 17, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. ch

    Cuomo deserves the seat.

    And NOBODY worked harder to EARN the seat than Hillary in 2000. She campaigned for over a year, visited all 62 counties, participated in 3 televised debates and won over the voters as evidenced by her landslide vicotry on election day 2000.

    All this despite the fact that the GOP right wing smear machine spent 60 Million trying (and once again failing) to defeat her.

    Could anyone ever fill Hillary's shoes? Doubtful.

    December 17, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Pamela - Oceanside, Ca

    I think she is more than qualified. She has been in political life her entire life. She knows the commitment that one must have to be in that life. For Christ sake she lost her Dad and the rest of her family wanting to do for our country. Why can't she do it? I say let her show her stuff for the next 2yrs and see if she even wants to do it for a full term. She might not even like it. If I could vote for her she would have it hands down. She couldn't do any worst then any of the others in there.

    December 17, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Laura, Boston

    @tor....that is a crazy reason to make someone a Senator. Robert Kennedy had children and many other nieces and nephews. Why should one of them be picked?

    Chelsea Clinton is the daughter of Hillary Clinton the senator of NY. Why isn't she chosen as the next junior Senator of NY

    December 17, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Debra

    So the choice is current New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, the son of former governor Mario Cuomo or Caroline Kennedy. I can see that Andrew Cuomo is qualified – a good choice. So why is Caroline Kennedy qualified??? Are we talking about entitlement here? She is rich and famous – but why is she entitled to be a state senator???? Shouldn't the pick be someone qualified????

    December 17, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Don

    Amazing! Tor thinks Caroline is the daughter of Robert Kennedy. Wrong! New Yorkers must have the intelligence of an Illinois voter. They take anything that is shoved down their collective throats without thinking. A lady from Arkansas who never lived in NY comes to mind. When did NY lose its ability to think? Next time this happens I hope you end up with Pdiddy.

    December 17, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. SIMONE

    There are so many people that would want another Honest, Upright, God Fearing, Woman that wants the best for the people in the Senate. Now the Media is saying the same thing about C. Kennedy as they did about Senator and now President – Elect Obama. So, keep trying to Strike Fear in the American People and see what Happens. The Republicans have just about distroyed America and you-all seem to be doing the same thing with trying to put someone in office that means US not a bit of good. I know that you-all won't print this but I am sure that you'll read it yourselves.

    December 17, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. Debby

    Who cares their both lefties and unexperienced just like our new Pres.

    December 17, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. STEVE R

    This name recognition and legacy stuff (Clinton / Kennedy) is turning the congress into sorority for the super elite.

    December 17, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. g

    The legacy of Robert Kennedy- being for the Viet Nam war when his brother was president, and then being against it when running for the presidency against Johnson and Humphrey in 1968 in order to gain the young voters. What a hypocrite!

    December 17, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. liz

    Listen to some of the dunder heads on here. "She's RFKs niece, let the legacy live..."

    Why do we even have elections in this country? Every one is 'controversial' and requires a recount so that those believing they have a "right" to power try and get it by hook or crook.

    Here's a novel idea, Chelsea can replace Caroline after Caroline replaces Hillary, (after riding the coat-tails of Bill). We can have Jeb Bush run for the presidency next time around. Who knows, maybe Roger Clinton can move to Illinois and get appointed by Blago.

    The way it is now there are too many families of power, but it seems that our "Entertainment Tonight/ Jerry Springer voyeuristic populace" would rather have a body politic made more for People magazine than The Economist.

    It's simply pathetic.

    December 17, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. sg

    Doesn't matter if Kennedy is selected or not. The alternative ain't much better! I remember when Cuomo's father was Govenor. Mario did a lot of damage to NY. Lost a lot of manufacturing when Mario was in office.

    December 17, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. New Yorker

    Oh-please! I'm sure we can find a better qualified person to take over this seat than Caroline Kennedy.
    Giving her the seat because of her last name is ridiculous!

    Really Fran drescher is just as qualified as Caroline. They both have been advocates for important causes, both have written best sellers.
    And they both have supported a presidential candidate.

    December 17, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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