More voters want to replace Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, rather than return her to office, according to a Siena poll released today.
Forty-three percent of voters said they “prefer someone else,” compared to the 34 percent who said they wanted to “elect Gillibrand.”
A majority of Democratic voters supporting electing her, 42-32 percent, and, predictably, a majority of Republicans oppose her, 59-20.
Gillibrand is losing among independent and unaffiliated voters, who want to replace her, 48-32 percent. In New York City, voters are split on keeping Gillibrand; 36 percent says keep her, 35 percent get someone else.
But there’s a silver lining for Gillibrand: she has no strong Democratic opponent (sorry Gail Goode), and her Republican rivals haven’t solidified voters on that side of the aisle.
The leading GOP challenger to Gillibrand is Joe DioGuardi, who leads the three-person field with 24 percent of the vote. Another 64 percent of voters say they don't know enough about DioGuardi, or the other candidates, Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass, to have an opinion.
Blakeman is a former legislator from Long Island, and Malpass was a White House official under President Bush. DioGuardi, a former congressman from Westchester, has the distinct advantage of having a daughter be an American Idol judge, boosting his name recognition somewhat.
Overall, the inability for Republicans to really capitalize on this race speaks to the wider issue of New York not having much of a functioning two-party system anymore.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuilani opted not to run, as did former Governor George Pataki. Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato is now a lobbyist raising money for the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate. D’Amato is also backing Blakeman, giving some astute (cynical?) observers the distinct impression D'Amato is ensuring Gillibrand's victory.
D'Amato, after all, was pretty happy to see Gillibrand get into the office in the fist place.