Poll: New Yorkers want Hillary to run, not Andrew

According to a recent Sienna College poll, many Hudson Valley residents believe that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would make favorable presidential candidates. (Dec. 6, 2012)

New Yorkers seem to think Westchester County is home to at least two credible candidates for president, but are not particularly interested in seeing a contest between the two.

According to a Siena College Research Institute poll of New York voters, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is riding the biggest wave of popularity, with a 75 percent approval rating, her highest ever in a Siena poll. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is right behind her, with an approval rating of 72 percent.

But voters see the two very differently when it comes to a presidential run.


VIDEO: Hudson Valley picks possible presidential candidates


"Although the Iowa caucuses are more than three years away, a majority of New Yorkers, including more than two-thirds of Democrats, want to see their former Senator take the plunge and run," Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said of Clinton. "The same is not true of Governor Cuomo, with only 39 percent of voters saying he should run in 2016, while 49 percent say he should not."

Political pros see Clinton as the leading candidate.

"She is far and away the front-runner in the Democratic Party," said strategist Mike Edelman. He suggested that Clinton's favorability is the highest in the country, with numbers that "are off the charts."

Edelman suggested that, by leaving her Cabinet post at the end of Obama's first term -- she has indicated she will soon resign -- Clinton is less likely to be drawn into controversies that could dent her popularity.

The Siena poll is supported by a Washington Post/ABC poll released Wednesday. It showed Clinton's nationwide favorability rating at 66 percent, with 57 percent supporting a presidential bid.

Gregory Holyk, an analyst at Langer Research Associates -- the firm that worked on the Post/ABC poll -- said Clinton's numbers showed no ill effects from the raid on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, but did indicate a yawning gender gap.

Still, whatever the poll numbers say today, 2016 remains a long way off, said Evan Stavisky, a Democratic consultant and partner in the Parkside Group:

"The most important thing to remember is a news cycle is a lifetime in politics," Stavisky said.

The Siena poll of 822 New York State registered voters was conducted Nov. 26-29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll randomly surveyed 1,020 adults nationwide from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.

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