Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

ALBANY - Former Gov. George Pataki is continuing his presidential campaign in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire as well as appearing on national talk and news shows, despite low polling numbers even in New York.

Pataki was on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher two days after he again took on the Republican candidate who has attracted red-hot attention, Donald Trump, in a Republican debate on Sept. 16 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

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A Siena Research Institute poll of New York voters released Monday shows Pataki continues be among the lowest polling of the 15 Republican candidates.

The poll found Pataki had a 32 percent favorable rating with a 58 percent disapproval rating among all voters in New Yorkers, a heavily Democratic state, when asked about Republican candidates for president.

That put Pataki just behind Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, who had a 40 percent favorable rating among all New York voters; and in a statistical tie with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and Trump.

But among Republican New Yorkers who will vote in the state's GOP primary, Pataki's 36 percent favorable rating put him far behind. Trump had a 60 percent favorable rating among New York Republicans, Carson had 58 percent, Rubio had 57 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had 45 percent, former CEO Carly Fiorina had 40 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had 43 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas had 38 percent.

At the second Republican debate, Pataki said he couldn't vote for Trump if the billionaire developer became the Republican nominee. But Pataki said that doesn't break the pledge all of the candidates made to defend the eventual choice of the party.

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"I have not broken the pledge because Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee," Pataki said at the debate. "Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States."

The poll questioned 817 voters, including 214 Republicans, between Sept. 14 and 17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.