New York Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo has a commanding 24-point lead over his Republican opponent Carl Paladino, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The Siena College poll of likely voters showed Cuomo, the state attorney general, leading the Buffalo-area businessman 56-32 percent. Fifty-nine percent of voters view Paladino unfavorably and 61 percent agree he "is a loose cannon, who doesn’t have the temperament to be governor."
Cuomo has an 11-point lead among independents and about twice as many Republicans back the Democrat than Democrats support the Republican: 25 percent to 12 percent.
“With four weeks until voters go to the polls, Cuomo remains in a very strong position to be elected New York’s next governor," pollster Steve Greenberg said.
The results of the poll come after Paladino confronted a reporter at a campaign event late last month after suggesting his opponent had an extramarital affair. He told the reporter "I'll take you out." The Republican has declined to apologize for his actions.
Paladino's fiery nature, however, appeared to help him win the GOP primary over former Rep. Rick Lazio. During that campaign, he promised he would "take a baseball bat" to the state capital of Albany to help root out corruption and establishment interests. But he also found himself in trouble when it was revealed he has forwarded e-mails containing explicit content to work associates.
A Qunnipiac University poll of likely voters taken late last month and before the incident showed a tightening race: Cuomo only led Paladino 49-43 percent.
Siena polled 636 likely New York voters between Oct. 3-4. The survey has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.