1st Gov poll puts Cuomo solidly ahead

September 21, 2010 Updated Sep 21, 2010 at 7:23 AM EDT

By Business First of Buffalo

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September 21, 2010 Updated Sep 21, 2010 at 7:23 AM EDT

In the first of what will be several polls, Democrat Andrew Cuomo has a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Carl Paladino in the race for governor of New York.

Rasmussen Reports said Monday a statewide telephone survey of likely voters finds Cuomo with 54 percent support versus 38 percent for Paladino, the Buffalo businessman who surprised by handily winning the Sept. 14 state GOP Primary. Two percent of respondents prefer some other candidate, and 6 percent are undecided.

The pollster noted that this is Paladino's best showing yet. It remains to be seen whether this is a short-lived post-primary bounce or a tightening of the race that Cuomo has dominated for months.

Rasmussen noted that in July, Cuomo, the state's attorney general who was unchallenged for the Democratic nomination, led Paladino by a two-to-one margin - 58 percent to 29 percent. The son of a former governor, Cuomo has been over 50 percent in every single poll conducted on the governor's race while Paladino never topped 30 percent before the primary.

The poll also showed Cuomo has the support of 80 percent of the state's Democrats, while 74 percent of Republicans back Paladino, who is making his first-ever run for office. The businessman, who relied on Tea Party support for his primary win, holds a slight lead among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.

The statewide telephone survey of 500 expected voters in New York was conducted on Sept. 16 by Rasmussen Reports and has a margin of error is +/-4.5 percentage points. Rasmussen is a national polling service in operation since 2003.

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