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We understand some people were starving for political news after Rudolph Giuliani backed off his prospective race against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and that when Harold Ford came up from Tennessee to just-about-challenge Gillibrand it gave such people a reason to live again.
That’s nice for them, but they’re getting a little overexcited. Two weeks ago a Marist poll showing Gillibrand 19 points ahead of Ford was characterized by the New York Post as “Ford picks up steam on Gillibrand.” Clearly some people want to stir the shit just to have shit to stir.
Now a new Marist Poll has come out, and this is the big news:
In the wake of Republican U.S. Senator-elect Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts, a notable
proportion–45%–of registered Democratic voters in New York State say they are worried that a Republican will defeat the state’s Democratic senators running for office in November.
Jesus Christ. A poll of people worried about how someone else will vote? What’s next, a poll of how people might vote on Bizarro World?
Gillibrand is again shown to be ahead of Ford, in this case by 17 points, but, Marist informs us that “a significant 25% of Democratic voters are unsure.” The most significant thing about this, actually, is that this number is lower than it was: 33 percent were undecided in the last Marist poll.
Gillibrand traditionally gets lots of don’t-knows when pollsters ask about her. A year ago 62 percent of voters didn’t know what to say about her; in last month’s Siena Poll this was down to 38 percent–but her unfavorable number was up. Nonetheless she still had a huge edge on Ford.
Now Marist has her favorable/unfavorable at 37-15, and her don’t-know is up to 48. That suggests fewer people know about her than before, despite all the press. Maybe someone fed Marist a bunch of phone numbers from convalescent homes and they’re reaching a significant number of Alzheimer’s patients. Or maybe voters are just playing dumb, hoping pollsters will move on to questions about that nice Charles Schumer.
Gillibrand allegedly loses to highly speculative Republican candidate George Pataki 49-43, and beats actual Republican candidate Bruce Blakeman, 52-30.
All this is, as the old saying goes, good news for Republicans, and the Democrats who resemble them. If the primary were held this month, and we could get the Democratic Party to spot Ford a bunch of points, Gillibrand would be a goner.