A new Marist poll on the New York Senate race has good news for both Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the man actively considering challenging her for the Democratic nomination this year, former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.
Among Democratic voters surveyed, Gillibrand leads Ford in a hypothetical matchup 43-24. It’s a sizable lead for the less-than-popular Gillibrand, who Marist found has just a 31% approval rating among Democrats in New York. A full third of surveyed Democrats are undecided in the race, however, leaving Ford a lot of room to move up should he decide to run for the nomination.The timing of the poll may not fully address the impact of Ford’s recent stumbles in the press, however. Marist polled 370 New York Democrats on Wednesday and Thursday, the same two days an embarrassing New York Times interview with Ford was making its rounds through political circles. Most have said Ford’s elitist-sounding answers about touring New York City by helicopter and relying chauffeured cars sent by NBC to commute won’t endear him to residents in the city.
Still, the Marist numbers show that if Ford can overcome what might not have been the best introduction to New York City voters, he could give Gillibrand a run for her money.