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Professionals and Politicos

Hillary gets doctors and journalists, but Rick owns the Street. Which levers New York's professionals will pull behind the curtain.

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Well, it's true what they say. The media is pro-Hillary. So are health-care professionals, fashionistas, and lawyers. Rick has the financial-services industry, and advertising professionals are split.

New York asked 600 professionals from around the state -- 100 from each of the above fields -- how they saw the Senate race. Each group included a broad variety of professionals. The media category, for instance, encompassed people in newspapers, radio, television, magazines, and books; the health-care category, doctors, surgeons, and various types of administrators. The financial-services group included planners, advisers, brokers, consultants, and analysts. All the groups are more Democratic than Republican, with health-care professionals skewing the most heavily so and advertising people the most evenly divided.

If it were entirely up to these groups -- New York State and City movers, shakers, and attitude-makers -- Hillary would win the election 54 to 37 percent, with 8 percent undecided. Heaviest in the First Lady's corner were media professionals, who backed her 62 to 25 percent. Health-care professionals were a close second, at 59 to 32 percent. Fashion people went for the lady in black (at least when she's downstate; upstate, it's pastels) by 56 to 35 percent. The barrister crowd went for the former Rose Law Firm partner with the Yale degree over the ex-assistant Suffolk County D.A. who graduated from American University by 55 to 38 percent. But Wall Street digs Rick: He carried the day among financial professionals by 47 to 43 percent.

George W. Bush has even more reason than Lazio does to be glad that the hoi polloi have the franchise. General impressions of him are more unfavorable than favorable among all of these professions except financial services and advertising, while Al Gore's lowest favorable rating, in the ad world, still tops out at 61 percent. Head-to-head, Gore mauled Bush in the white-collar caucus, pulling down a whopping 58 percent of the vote, while Dubya landed just 26 percent. Even Wall Street goes Democratic in the presidential sweepstakes: Financial professionals named Gore as their candidate to the tune of 54 to 30 percent. Advertising professionals, for whatever reason, nursed a sizable soft spot for Ralph Nader. The Raider polled at 11 percent among ad people, which pushed his total statewide vote among these groups up to 6 percent.

One Republican did have better luck: Rudy Giuliani. Even media professionals -- though he might have a hard time believing it -- had a favorable opinion of the mayor, by 50 to 43 percent. Perhaps counterintuitively, fashion people like Rudy, too, at 50 to 42 percent. Legal professionals carry a brief for the mayor to the tune of 62 to 34 percent (must not have asked many defense lawyers). Only health-care people tilt against him, 36 to 43 percent.


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