Mitt Romney's VP pick may hurt in NY, poll finds

Mitt Romney jokes with Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) Mitt Romney jokes with Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) after announcing him as the "next president of the United States" during an event announcing him as his running mate in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia. (Aug. 11, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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ALBANY -- Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan to be his Republican running mate may hurt him slightly with New Yorkers, according to a Siena College poll released Tuesday.

The survey found that President Barack Obama widened his lead over Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, in New York after the former Massachusetts governor tapped the conservative Wisconsin congressman for the GOP ticket.

Now, Obama leads Romney by 29 percentage points, 62 percent to 33 percent, among New York voters, a gap that grew 2 points from Siena's last survey. The poll, conducted Aug. 14-19, included calls to 671 "likely" voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The 2-point increase for Obama is within the margin of error.

Other highlights from the poll included:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has apparently increased her lead over Republican challenger Wendy Long; Gillibrand now leads 65 percent to 22 percent. Long has just a bare majority of Republicans, 52 percent, in her corner.

About 56 percent of voters said that New York is on the right track. That's the highest total since Siena began its poll -- which was just seven years ago.

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Support for raising the minimum wage remains sky-high (80 percent in favor, 17 opposed), and support for public financing of political campaigns remains strong (55 percent to 31 percent).

Support for allowing Las Vegas-style casinos increased. Once evenly split, New Yorkers currently favor amending the state constitution to expand gambling, 52 percent to 38 percent, according to Siena.

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