Thirty-one percent of likely Mitt Romney voters in New York plan to vote for Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the race for U.S. Senate, according to a Marist poll released this evening.
Gillibrand led Republican challenger Wendy Long by 44 percentage points, 68 percent to 24 percent, in a survey of 565 likely voters between Oct. 18 and Oct. 21 by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion in conjunction with NY1 and YNN. Respondents included likely voters who were leaning toward a candidate but were still undecided.
President Barack Obama led Romney 61 percent to 35 percent. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Only 5 percent of likely Obama voters planned to vote for Long.
Obama and Gillibrand are expected to win big in the Empire State on Nov. 6, but it appears the state’s freshman senator is in a position to run up her numbers as she seeks her first full six-year term.
Gillibrand took 63 percent of the vote in 2010 against former Republican Rep. Joe DioGuardi to win election to the remaining two years of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate term.
Gillibrand, a former House member from the Albany area, has served in the Senate since January 2009 when she was appointed by former Gov. David Patterson to fill the vacant seat.
This year, Gillibrand has run up her name recognition with statewide TV ads. The ads offer positive messages on manufacturing, Gillibrand’s efforts to bring more transparency to Congress and her work with first-responders on legislation to make health benefits available to more people involved in recovery and cleanup efforts at Ground Zero.
Marist polling director Lee Miringoff said Long has had “no real presence’’ around the state. Meanwhile, Gillibrand’s campaign has been boosted by the presidential election.
The Marist poll found Gillibrand’s favorability rating at 55 percent among registered voters — the same level as the state’s senior senator, Democrat Chuck Schumer.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo topped both senators with a favorability rating of 59 percent, but Obama topped them all with a 63 percent favorability rating.