UPDATE: Full disclosure, as many of you know, I have been publicly supportive of Carolyn Maloney beyond this one post and I have discussed her potential candidacy with her personally. If she runs - which I hope she does since she'd be a great Senator - I'd be honored to work on her campaign.
Interesting news out of NY: A Quinnipiac poll released today looking forward to a possible matchup for the 2010 Democratic Primary for US Senator from NY, shows US Rep. Carolyn Maloney ahead of incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and challenger Jonathan Tasini.
It is pretty extraordinary to show an incumbent Senator losing a primary to an opponent who hasn't begun to campaign. Just as significant as the head-to-head poll, despite a well-publicized six-month effort by Gillibrand to sway New York voters, her favorable numbers have not moved.
Looking at these poll numbers, I guess now we know why Kirsten Gillibrand is doing everything she can to clear the field of all potential challengers a year before the primary. Today's poll is the 2nd in a row in which Carolyn Maloney has come out on top and the third overall showing Kirsten Gillibrand trailing a potential challenger who hasn't begun to campaign.
If there's anything that's becoming clearer, despite the forces behind Kirsten Gillibrand working to push out other candidates from this democratic primary, it's that New Yorkers agree that there are stronger candidates out there, and NY voters deserve a choice about who will be their next senator.
Even more telling is the fact that, though more than half of those polled said they favored one of the three choices, large chunks of NY Democrats remain undecided. If past New York elections are any indicator, New Yorkers are closer to Carolyn Maloney ideologically on key Democratic issues like marriage equality, getting guns off the streets, and on women's issues. That's what this race is about, not endorsements. It's about who will stand up and fight for the voters of New York on the issues that matter.
Though she has not said she will run, I hope Congresswoman Maloney does decide to enter the race. Not only would she win the nomination next year, but as the poll shows, she would defeat likely GOP nominee Rep Peter King. The Republicans are not going to pull any punches during the general election campaign next year, and New Yorkers need someone who will stand up for them on the issues, not change their positions for political expediency.
Carolyn Maloney: 27%
Kirsten Gillibrand: 23%
Jonathan Tasini: 4%
-Kirsten Gillibrand's favorable ratings remain virtually unchanged since January 2009 despite a six month effort by Senator Gillibrand and her campaign.
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