Two new polls differ over the closeness of the race between two still little-known candidates for attorney general in New York, with one saying the contest is about even and the other giving the initial advantage to the Democrat who won a primary last week.
The Quinnipiac University survey of 751 likely voters showed Democratic state Sen. Eric Schneiderman of Manhattan with 37 percent support and 36 percent for Republican Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan. Respondents were asked to choose as if they had to vote immediately.
Questioned further, most said they hadn’t yet heard enough about either candidate to form an opinion about them.
The Siena Research Institute poll of 801 registered voters showed Schneiderman leading Donovan by 45 percent to 32 percent if they had to vote now. But 63 percent overall said they hadn’t yet formed an opinion of Schneiderman and 77 percent said the same of Donovan.
Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said Schneiderman’s edge, following his primary campaign and win last week, largely reflects the nearly 2-to-1 Democratic enrollment advantage in New York. He called it “certainly the closest” of the five statewide races, but, “This campaign really hasn’t started to heat up yet.”
“In the past, New Yorkers tended to split their ticket, voting for at least one statewide official from a party other than the governor’s party, so this race is anybody’s guess,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.
In both polls, little more than half of those willing to choose said their minds were made up. Almost half said they might change before the Nov. 2 election.
Qunnipiac’s poll Sept. 16-20 claimed a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points. Siena’s poll Sept. 16-21 claimed a 3.5 percent margin. Results were released Thursday.
Schneiderman, who had strong support in New York City and the Hudson Valley to beat four challengers in the primary, announced Thursday he has the backing of 50 former prosecutors, including former Queens District Attorney Michael Armstrong and former Syracuse-based U.S. Attorney Daniel French.
Donovan announced the endorsements of eight law enforcement organizations, including the New York State Fraternal Order of Police and the New York City Detectives Endowment Association.
By MICHAEL VIRTANEN,Associated Press Writer
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.