Cuomo, McCollum primed to make runs at governor, polls show

John O'Brien Aug. 19, 2009, 1:00pm



HAMDEN, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Two recently released polls show good news for a pair of state attorneys general.

This week, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute released the results of polls conducted in Florida and New York that show Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum ahead in his quest to become governor next year and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo with a huge lead in the same race in his state, if he chooses to run.

McCollum had trailed Democrat Alex Sink by four points in a previous poll. The one released Wednesday has him ahead by four.

"Bill McCollum has been on the ballot in Florida for decades in various campaigns and this exposure to the voters seems to be serving him well," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Floridians know him better than they do Ms. Sink, who first ran for office in 2006. When voters are asked to rate him personally and in his job performance as attorney general he gets strongly positive ratings."

Sink is currently the state's chief financial officer. On June 9, she held a 38-percent-to-34 lead over the Republican McCollum.

In the 10 weeks since, McCollum has reversed the lead and holds a 38-34 lead. His hold on independent voters shifted from 32-27 to 38-23.

Fifty-three percent of those polled approve of his work as attorney general, while only 16 percent disapprove.

Sink has a 23-percent approval rating, but 68 percent of those polled say they do not know enough about her.

"Ms. Sink's numbers indicate she has made a good first impression on Florida voters, but a much larger share of the electorate does not know her compared to McCollum," Brown said.

The poll also shows Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, the state's attorney general before McCollum, has a 55-26 lead over former House Speaker Marco Rubio in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

From Aug. 12-17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,136 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. The survey includes 446 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points and 434 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points.

In New York, the poll, released Monday, shows Cuomo with a 61-15 lead in a Democratic primary with current Gov. David Paterson. Cuomo has not declared his candidacy for the race.

He said earlier this year that he has no intention of challenging Paterson for the nomination and is content with his current job.

Cuomo held a 57-20 lead over Paterson in a June 24 poll conducted by Quinnipiac.

Fifty-two percent of those polled approve of Cuomo's job performance, while 12 percent disapprove.

From Aug. 10-13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,667 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. The survey includes 708 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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