Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo speaks while accepting the nomination for...

Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo speaks while accepting the nomination for governor during the New York State Democratic Committee Convention. (May 27, 2010) Credit: AP

ALBANY - In the races for governor, state comptroller and U.S. senator, Democrats continue to have big leads over Republicans, though the latter have made modest gains since last month, according to a new poll.

The Siena Research Institute found Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo's lead over Republicans Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino has dropped 6 percentage points from May. The poll showed Cuomo would defeat Lazio of Brightwaters 60 percent to 24 percent. He would also beat Paladino, a Buffalo businessman, 60-23.

Cuomo, the attorney general, remains the most popular state politician. However, his favorability rating dropped eight points this month to its lowest level since December 2008. Fifty-nine percent of voters view him favorably while 26 percent do not.

"His still-commanding lead [over Republicans] has fallen to its lowest level ever, while his favorability rating has fallen below 60 percent for the first time in a year and a half," said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

The poll of 808 voters was conducted June 7-9.

Among the Republicans vying to replace incumbent U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, former Rep. Joseph DioGuardi of Westchester is the most competitive - only losing to her by 18 points.

In the race to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat, political consultant Jay Townsend beats former CIA officer Gary Berntsen of Port Jefferson, 20 percent to 15 percent. Schumer trounces both in the general election. The contest for comptroller was unchanged from last month. Incumbent Thomas DiNapoli, a Great Neck Democrat, leads Republican Harry Wilson, a former hedge fund manager, 42-23.

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