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Posted by on Jan 9, 2009 in Politics | 1 comment

Kennedy vs. King Polling in New York

Rasmussen has released the results of a poll in New York pitting Democrat Caroline Kennedy against Republican Peter King in the 2010 special election to serve out the remainder of Hillary Clinton’s term in the Senate. For the moment, let us ignore the fact that the test question pits a person who has not yet been appointed to the seat against a Congressman who has not officially announced that he will even run for it. It still has a few useful tidbits of information which both parties will likely consider moving forward.

If Caroline Kennedy is appointed to the U.S. Senate, she is favored to win re-election against her likeliest Republican opponent in 2010.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of New York voters finds Kennedy would attract 51% of the vote in a match-up with Republican Peter King, a longtime congressman form Long Island. King, who has made his interest in such a race clear, earns 33% of the vote at this time. Nine percent (9%) say they would vote for a third-party candidate, and seven percent (7%) are not sure.

At first glance, those numbers may look like good news for Democrats and ill tidings for Republicans, but there are a few other factors to consider. This polling data is premature and raw beyond description. The Kennedy name is well known in New York and would always pop some impressive early numbers, but those could likely change as more becomes known in the actual race. Also, while Peter King is well known and respected on Long Island, as well as having established some credibility on the national level, he’s not terribly well known yet outside of the Greater New York City area. Given a more formal introduction, his numbers in the more conservative, upstate districts could swell a bit. Then there’s also this:

Still, there are hints of potential vulnerability for the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, who is the leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

Just 42% believe she is qualified to serve in the Senate, and only nine percent (9%) believe she would do a better job than Clinton. Thirty-four percent (34%) believe she would not do as well as her predecessor, who has been nominated by President-elect Obama to serve as secretary of State.

Additionally, only 21% believe Kennedy would even be considered for the job if she had a different last name.

Again, this poll is ridiculously premature, but things may well change moving forward. This is definitely one of the seats we’ll be keeping an eye on in 2010. Stay tuned.