December 23, 2008 - New York Is Semi-Sweet On Caroline, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Cuomo Is Favored By Upstate Voters

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New York State voters split 40 - 41 percent on whether Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be a U.S. Senator, but they expect by a 48 - 25 percent margin that Gov. David Paterson will name her to the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Offered a choice, 33 percent of voters say Gov. Paterson should name Ms. Kennedy, while 29 percent say Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should get the nod. Another 4 percent pick Albany-area U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, while 24 percent want someone else and 10 percent are undecided, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Kennedy leads Cuomo 42 - 27 percent among New York City voters and ties Cuomo 30 - 30 percent among suburban voters, while Cuomo leads 31 - 27 percent among upstate voters. Men back Kennedy over Cuomo 32 - 27 percent while women back her 33 - 31 percent.

Republicans prefer Cuomo 33 - 20 percent while Democrats back Kennedy 41 - 27 percent and independent voters back Cuomo 33 - 30 percent.

"Will we get another Kennedy in the Senate? Only Gov. David Paterson knows for sure. Among New Yorkers in general, Caroline Kennedy's grade is just okay," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Ask the question two ways: Should the Governor appoint Ms. Kennedy? New Yorkers give her a narrow lead over Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Will he appoint her? Heavily, the answer is 'yes.'"

"Kennedy does best in heavily Democratic New York City, while Cuomo leads upstate. When offered a choice between two legendary Democratic names, Republicans would rather have a Cuomo than a Kennedy."

New York State voters approve 72 - 14 percent of the job Cuomo is doing, his highest rating since he became Attorney General two years ago. Cuomo gets a 55 - 11 percent favorability rating, with 32 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion.

Kennedy gets a 46 - 17 percent favorability, with 36 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion. Voters say 46 - 30 percent that she would be a good U.S. Senator, with men agreeing 46 - 33 percent and women agreeing 46 - 28 percent.

In her final weeks as a Senator, Hillary Clinton gets a 70 - 25 percent approval rating, including a split 47 - 48 percent among Republicans. This is her second highest approval ever.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer gets a 63 - 22 percent approval rating.

"More than one-third of voters don't know enough about Caroline Kennedy to form an opinion. But she gets far more yes votes than no votes when New Yorkers are asked if she would make a 'good' Senator," Carroll said.

"Voters may not want to promote Cuomo, but they give him high marks as Attorney General." Bush Approval

New York State voters disapprove 78 - 18 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing, matching a 78 - 18 percent disapproval in a November 19 New Jersey poll as President Bush's lowest score in any state ever polled by Quinnipiac University.

"The question in recent months has been how low can President Bush's job approval go. He's down in the teens with one month to go," Carroll said.

From December 17 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 834 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Hillary Clinton is handling her job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              70%    47%    87%    64%    65%    74%
Disapprove           25     48      9     30     30     21
DK/NA                 5      6      4      6      5      5
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Approve              65%    64%    64%    78%    68%
Disapprove           33     29     30     17     29
DK/NA                 2      6      6      5      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Hillary Clinton is handling her job as United States Senator?
                                                            Highest Lowest
                                                            Approve Approve
                     Dec 23 Aug 6   Jun 12  Apr 17  Mar 24  Dec 14  Feb 14
                     2008   2008    2008    2008    2008    2006    2001
 
Approve              70     66      66      62      64      72      38
Disapprove           25     29      28      31      29      23      30
DK/NA                 5      5       5       8       7       5      33
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charles Schumer is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              63%    48%    73%    60%    60%    65%
Disapprove           22     38     13     22     26     18
DK/NA                15     14     14     18     14     16
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Approve              60%    57%    58%    71%    60%
Disapprove           25     25     25     19     21
DK/NA                14     18     17     10     19
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charles Schumer is handling his job as United States Senator? * also 69% on 10/02/01
                                                            Highest Lowest
                                                            Approve Approve
                     Dec 23 Aug 6   Jun 12  Apr 17  Mar 24  Dec 8   Apr 15
                     2008   2008    2008    2008    2008    2004*   1999
 
Approve              63     61      66      65      66      69      51
Disapprove           22     23      21      18      18      16      22
DK/NA                15     16      14      17      16      15      28
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              18%    44%     6%    17%    17%    19%
Disapprove           78     50     93     78     79     77
DK/NA                 4      6      1      5      3      4
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Approve              17%    23%    22%    14%    18%
Disapprove           76     73     73     84     77
DK/NA                 7      5      5      2      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President? * also 82% on 10/2/01
                                                            Highest Lowest
                                                            Approve Approve
                     Dec 23 Jun 11  Apr 18  Mar 21  Dec 17  Nov 14  Dec 23
                     2008   2008    2008    2008    2007    2001 *  2008
 
Approve              18     20      22      21      22      82      18
Disapprove           78     76      73      74      73      15      78
DK/NA                 4      4       4       4       5       3       4
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Andrew Cuomo is handling his job as State Attorney General?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              72%    65%    78%    68%    71%    72%
Disapprove           14     19     11     13     13     15
DK/NA                14     16     11     19     16     13
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Approve              79%    71%    73%    74%    67%
Disapprove           11     15     14     13     15
DK/NA                10     14     13     13     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Andrew Cuomo is handling his job as State Attorney General?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Dec 23  Aug 6   Jun 12  Apr 17  Mar 24  Dec 23  Feb 13
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007
 
Approve              72      68      69      65      59      72      42
Disapprove           14      13      15      13      12      14      16
DK/NA                14      19      17      21      30      14      42
 
 
10. As you may know, Senator Hillary Clinton has been nominated to be Secretary of State and Governor Paterson will pick her replacement in the Senate. Who do you think Governor Paterson should pick to replace Hillary Clinton in the United States Senate; Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand or someone else?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Kennedy              33%    20%    41%    30%    32%    33%
Cuomo                29     33     27     33     27     31
Gillibrand            4      6      3      4      5      3
Someone else         24     33     16     26     25     22
DK/NA                10      9     12      7     10     11
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Kennedy              24%    27%    27%    42%    30%
Cuomo                27     31     31     27     30
Gillibrand           13      6      7      1      2
Someone else         25     22     23     23     26
DK/NA                11     13     13      6     13
 
 
11. Is your opinion of Andrew Cuomo favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            55%    49%    61%    51%    56%    54%
Unfavorable          11     20      5     14     12     10
Hvn't hrd enough     32     29     32     34     29     34
REFUSED               2      2      2      1      3      1
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Favorable            51%    56%    55%    57%    51%
Unfavorable           8     10     10     11     15
Hvn't hrd enough     39     31     33     31     31
REFUSED               1      2      2      1      3
 
 
12. Is your opinion of Caroline Kennedy favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            46%    25%    58%    46%    42%    50%
Unfavorable          17     29      7     23     21     14
Hvn't hrd enough     36     44     34     31     37     36
REFUSED               1      1      -      -      1      0
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Favorable            37%    39%    39%    54%    48%
Unfavorable          19     19     19     14     19
Hvn't hrd enough     41     42     42     31     33
REFUSED               2      1      1      1      -
 
 
13. Do you think Caroline Kennedy would be a good United States Senator or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  46%    26%    59%    45%    46%    46%
No                   30     49     17     35     33     28
DK/NA                24     25     24     20     21     26
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  38%    41%    40%    53%    46%
No                   33     30     31     27     35
DK/NA                28     29     29     20     20
 
 
14. Do you think Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be a United States Senator or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  40%    20%    51%    37%    39%    40%
No                   41     55     31     45     43     39
DK/NA                19     25     18     18     17     21
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  34%    33%    33%    49%    38%
No                   43     43     43     36     43
DK/NA                23     23     23     15     19
 
 
15. Do you think Governor Paterson will pick Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  48%    51%    48%    45%    49%    47%
No                   25     23     25     29     26     24
DK/NA                27     26     27     26     25     28
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  45%    44%    45%    52%    48%
No                   22     27     26     25     24
DK/NA                33     28     29     23     28