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Marist: Gillibrand faces tough fight(s), bad news for Paterson

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) may not love the latest Marist poll but at least she can take solace in the fact that the numbers for Gov. David Paterson (D) are far worse.

The poll, released Tuesday, found that New Yorkers have a mixed view of how Gillibrand is performing in her new office. Nearly two in ten said she is doing either an excellent or good job while more than three in ten said she is doing below average. Half of the respondents were unsure how she is doing.

Those numbers could forebode a tough re-election race in 2010. If Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) decides to challenge Gillibrand in the Democratic primary, Democratic voters in the poll were split on who they would support – 36 percent said Gillibrand, 33 percent said McCarthy and 31 percent were undecided.

In the general election, Gillibrand would beat Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.), who is eyeing the race, 49 percent to 28 percent. Former Gov. George Pataki (R) would prove to be more formidable, though, with Gillibrand winning that hypothetical match up 45 percent o 41. Pataki has meet with NRSC chair John Cornyn (R-Texas) about potentially running.

For Paterson, the poll bears no good news. His approval rating has fallen to 26 percent, down 20 points since the last Marist poll in January and the lowest for a New York governor in Marist’s near 30-year existence. Paterson would also lose a potential match up with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2010 by a margin of 53 percent to 38 percent.

But Paterson’s biggest hurdle may be getting through a Democratic primary against state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), who is rumored to be considering a run. Sixty-two percent of New York Democrats would back Cuomo in that match up, compared to 26 percent that would support Paterson. Most troubling for Paterson: Cuomo’s job approval rating hit 71 percent in the poll.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com

Tags Andrew Cuomo Carolyn McCarthy David Paterson David Paterson George Pataki Gillibrand Kirsten Gillibrand Kirsten Gillibrand New York New York elections Person Attributes Person Career Politics Quotation Rudy Giuliani United States Senate special election in New York

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