30 March, 2006

McFarland Pulls Ahead In GOP Race For U.S. Senate; Clinton Still Holds Large Lead Over Both Republicans

Despite some missteps and tons of negative press in the past few weeks, former Reagan Defense Dept. spokeswoman KT McFarland has vaulted into the lead in her battle for the GOP nod for U.S. Senate from New York.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows McFarland out in front of former Yonkers mayor John Spencer, despite McFarland's very late entry in the race a month or so ago. Among Republicans polled in the second of two Quinnipiac polls released in the past two days, McFarland leads Spencer 35% to 22%, with 37% remaining undecided.

In a mock general election, Sen. Hillary Clinton is ahead of Spencer 60% to 30%, the same figures Quinnipiac reported in January. Clinton leads McFarland 60% to 29%.

You would have to assume things will change a bit in these races once the general public finds out who is actually running. Eighty-one percent of respondents said they hadn't heard of Spencer, while 75% did not know who McFarland is.


In a not too surprising move, given the public spat between the McFarland campaign and the head of the state Republican Party, GOP chairman Stephen Minarik has endorsed Spencer, according to a story in today's New York Times.

Meanwhile, McFarland keeps harvesting her endorsements one at a time. On Wednesday McFarland picked up the endorsement of the Allegheny County GOP chairman, Tom Hayden. That's five endorsements for her in the past week.


Back briefly to the Quinnipiac poll. In the race for the Democratic nod for attorney general, former Federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo leads former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green 37% to 25%, with 26% undecided.

Both men come out on top in one-on-one matchups with Republican Jeanine Pirro. Cuomo leads the former Westchester district attorney 51% to 31%, while Green holds at 47% to 31% lead over Pirro.


President Bush's job approval rating in the Empire State, according to Qunnipiac, is 28%, compared with 69% disapproval. Sen. Clinton's approval rating is at 57%, down from 60% in January and down from 65% at its high-water mark in February 2005. Sen. Chuck Schumer's approval rating jumped to 63% in the latest poll from 58% in January.


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