Poll: New York Could Vote Republican in 2008

A new Mason-Dixon poll shows that the right Republican candidate could carry the state in the 2008 presidential race.

Could New York Vote ‘Red’ In 2008? (Fox)

While Sen. Hillary Clinton (search) easily tops several Republican opponents in hypothetical 2006 U.S. Senate match-ups, New York voters are fairly evenly divided when it comes to possible 2008 presidential candidates, according to a FOX News Poll. The poll of New York State voters tested four possible Republican challengers to Clinton in her upcoming race for re-election to the U.S. Senate, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (search) performs best — coming within 10 percentage points of the incumbent (Clinton 53 percent and Giuliani 43 percent).

Sen. Clinton has a sizeable edge over New York Gov. George Pataki (search), outdistancing him by a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent. The two other Republicans tested, Jeanine Pirro and Edward Cox, both of whom are still relative unknowns to many in the state, receive support from about 25 percent of voters.


In the 2004 presidential election, the state backed Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., over President Bush by 58 percent to 41 percent. Even so, when asked if the 2008 presidential election were held today almost half (49 percent) of New York State voters say they would vote for Giuliani over Kerry (42 percent). Giuliani also has a slight 2-percentage point advantage over Sen. Clinton on presidential vote preference (compared to her 10-point advantage in the Senate race). If the Republican candidate were Arizona Sen. John McCain against Clinton, the state’s voters were sharply divided — 42 percent McCain and 41 percent Clinton, with 17 percent undecided.

“New Yorkers have become very comfortable with Mrs. Clinton as their senator, and she will be very difficult to beat in a re-election race. A race for the presidency, however, is a completely different ballgame and even among her supportive constituents in New York there are some who are not sure she is right for that job,” comments Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Research, Inc.

Some interesting shifts happen within demographic groups on the Clinton-Giuliani vote the senate and presidential vote questions. Almost 6 in 10 women support Clinton over Giuliani in the senate race, but that drops to about half in the presidential race; however, Giuliani’s share of the female vote doesn’t increase as a result, but instead the Clinton-defectors move to the “undecided” column. Similarly, among independents, Clinton’s share of the vote for president is 10 points lower than for senate. Men are about eight points less likely to vote for her for president than for senator.

Of course, a popular, moderate Native Son candidate should do well in a hypothetical race. A more conservative Republican would have no chance of carrying New York unless the Democratic candidate were so bad as to result in a Mondale or Dukakis style blowout.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Matthew Rinker says:

    I think it should be noted that the poll was conducted by Fox News – and despite their “Fair and Balanced” news coverage – we can imagine that the poll was skewed somewhat to the right as most party based polls are.

    I think it would be interesting to see what the poll results would have been with a GOP candidate like Santorum, Frist, or Allen in the mix.

  2. McGehee says:

    A poll purporting to predict voter behavior three and a half years out, is simply ludicrous and deserves neither to be embraced nor debunked. Rather it should be snickered at, if anything.

  3. Maggie says:

    Another recent poll showed that a large portion of those who said they would vote for Clinton, want her to declare that SHE WOULD SERVE HER FULL TERM!

    She did that the first go round….

  4. “Another recent poll showed that a large portion of those who said they would vote for Clinton, want her to declare that SHE WOULD SERVE HER FULL TERM!”

    That’s funny, because Bill Clinton made a similar promise while running for re-election as governor in 1990. I didn’t believe him.

  5. SoloD says:

    I agree with McGehee.


    But I am not sure which one of us should be more frightened.

  6. James Joyner says:

    Matthew: No, the poll wasn’t conducted by Fox News. It was commissioned by them.

  7. McGehee says:

    But I am not sure which one of us should be more frightened.

    [evil, maniacal cackle]

  8. Usha sharma says:

    I am almost dying to vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton. She has brain and gut to be the president of the USA; people will vote and she will win it.

    Good bless America!!!