Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Siena II: Good News For Gillibrand by Liz Benjamin - Capital Tonight

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Some great news for Senator Gillibrand in the new Siena poll out today. 
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s approval rating continues to climb in the wake of her first-ever statewide election success last November, even as GOP leaders continue to search for a candidate to challenge her in 2012.

Today’s Siena poll found New York’s junior senator is enjoying her highest favorable rating ever: 57-18 percent, up from 50-24 percent just four months ago.
A year and a half away from facing voters again – this time for a full six-year term, and not merely the remainder of former Sen. Hillary Clinton’s term – 52 percent of voters, including a plurality of Republicans, say they are prepared to re-elect Gillibrand.
Twenty-nine percent would prefer “someone else,” and 19 percent are undecided.
At least two of Gillibrand’s 2010 GOP opponents, former Rep. Joe DioGuardi and David Malpass, are considering potential re-match attempts against her in 2012.
Former LG Betsy McCaughey is being touted as a possible Gillibrand opponent, and she hasn’t yet ruled out a run. McCaughey spoke at New York’s CPAC and also the the national CPAC this past weekend in Washington, D.C. I’m told some of her “Obamacare” red meat won her a standing ovation.
Gillibrand has been enjoying a spate of national attention following the repeal last year of “DADT” and passage of the Zadroga bill, both of which she made top priorities after inheriting Clinton’s seat in January 2009.
She also unexpectedly became a de facto spokeswoman for injured Rep. Gabby Giffords after her good friend opened her eyes in the hospital while Gillibrand held her hand.
Republicans are worried 2012 will be even more of an uphill battle to anyone seeking to dislodge Gillibrand than 2010 was due to the presence of President Obama atop the Democratic ticket in a Democrat-dominated state like New York. This might be the party’s last chance to defeat Gillibrand, as most agree the longer she holds onto the seat, the less likely she is to lose it.