Poll: Sen. Gillibrand surges to double-digit lead

After a poll scare late last month, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) now holds a double-digit lead over her Republican challenger, according to new numbers out Friday from Quinnipiac University.  

Gillibrand leads ex-Rep. Joe DioGuardi (R-N.Y.) by 21 percentage points — 55 percent to 34 percent. A Q-poll from shortly after her September primary gave Gillibrand just a 6-point edge over DioGuardi. 

Among women, Gillibrand leads 59 percent to 28 percent while she leads 51 percent to 39 percent among men. And Gillibrand's favorables are positive at 49-24 percent.

Despite Gillibrand's widening lead, Republicans might have missed an opportunity in this state. Several top-tier potential GOP challengers to Gillibrand passed on the race, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. George Pataki.   

Friday's poll also gave Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) a commanding lead over his Republican challenger Jay Townsend. The incumbent leads 63 percent to 32 percent. 

"If Republicans are going to take back the U.S. Senate, it doesn’t look as if New York will be much help," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute. 

The poll surveyed 1,141 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.9 percentage points.