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Wild Blue Yonder

A new poll of state voters conducted by Pace University, in coordination with New York Magazine, doesn’t give much hope to Republicans in New York.

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Collectively, the Democratic candidates (Hillary Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Andrew Cuomo, and Alan Hevesi) led the GOP (John Spencer, John Faso, Jeanine Pirro, and J. Christopher Callaghan) by 150 points, a whopping average of 37.5 points per race.

• The poll was conducted before the full extent of Democratic comptroller candidate Alan Hevesi’s troubles came to light last week, which shows just how big a lead he had to blow: 44 percent held favorable opinions of him (pre-debate, only 13 percent of likely voters had even heard of his opponent, Callaghan).

Spitzer scored a 73 percent favorable rating. And only 9 percent really hate him. (His best constituency? African-Americans: 85 percent like him.)

• Clinton scored a 66 percent favorability rating; 23 percent still turn up their noses at her. (Among her top supporters: 83 percent of regulated renters.)

• As for her next move, 41 percent believe Clinton has the best shot among N.Y. politicians at winning the White House, 34 percent say Rudy Giuliani, 7 percent say George Pataki, and 6 percent believe in Mike Bloomberg’s prospects.

• How does standing by your man play with voters? It seems as though it’s less important than other factors. Both Clinton and Pirro opted not to seek divorces after their husbands became the subjects of sex scandals. Among college-educated female voters, Hillary enjoys a 74 percent approval rating. Pirro’s “venting” didn’t seem to resonate much: Only 26 percent of the same group support her.

• Health care: 48 percent favor a government-run program.

• In the only state that was attacked by Islamic extremists twice, the war on terror hardly resonates: Only 5 percent ranked security and terrorism as their top concern, and 49 percent believe another terrorism attack isn’t imminent.

• On Iraq, 30 percent say the U.S. should stay the course, 34 percent favor setting a firm withdrawal deadline, and 27 percent say pull out now.

• Economically, 58 percent believe “jobs are hard to find”; 21 percent think there are “plenty of jobs.”

37 percent of upstaters believe gambling is the least-effective way to improve the local economic picture, though statewide, 50 percent support it.

• Expect low turnout on Election Day. 56 percent of voters are expected to be Democrats, and 28 percent Republicans or Conservatives, so even if every undecided voter goes Republican, it wouldn’t do the trick.

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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