Ford dropped in polls before exit

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) led former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) 50-19 before he dropped out of the race Monday, according to a new Marist poll.

The poll shows Ford would have faced a steep climb, but it also shows Gillibrand's campaign was off to a good start in their primary.

The last Marist poll, from one month ago, showed Gillibrand with a considerably smaller lead -- 44-27 -- meaning that the offensive against Ford was paying dividends on both ends, bringing Gilliband up and bringing Ford down.

It is the first time Gillibrand has cracked 50 percent in a primary poll.

In the general election, she is also over 50 percent against Mort Zuckerman and declared GOP candidate Bruce Blakeman. She leads Zuckerman 59-26 and Blakeman 58-28 in a pair of general election matchups.