Rick Lazio leads Carl Paladino 47-35 among Republican voters, with 18 percent undecided, according to the new Quinnipiac poll, released this morning. The big number in the poll is the 49 percent of voters who have chosen sides in this race but say they're open to changing their minds. Political Wire notes Lazio's lead is not commanding.
Sixty-two percent of Paladino's supporters say they're determined to vote for their preferred candidate; among Lazio's supporters, that number is only 42 percent.
So, expect a blitzkrieg assault from Paladino in the coming days. He's said he'll spend $10 million of his own money on the race.
The Q poll shows Lazio leading Paladin among women, 51-26 percent (a number probably not helped by the racy emails Paladino sent out).
Lazio's strategy has been to ignore his flawed and outspoken opponent. That's for two reasons. First, Lazio doesn't really have the money to be spending on a primary challenger, when he needs to save every nickel for his race against Andrew Cuomo in November (Cuomo has raised more than $25 million and is sitting on a huge war chest).
Second, in order to close the seemingly huge gap in polling numbers between himself and Cuomo, Lazio needs to make this a one-on-one race as soon as possible. Every day that goes by with Paladino in the news is one less day Lazio has to convince people that he can govern better than Cuomo (whom the polls show has a pretty high favorable rating among voters for his four years as attorney general).
The other heated race worth watching - the Democratic primary for attorney general - is not seizing the public's attention.
Respondents to the Q poll found:
77 percent did not know who was running
8 percent named someone not on the ballot