A new Rasmussen poll of New York looks at how former Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) might do if he ran against appointed Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the general election, as an independent, rather than challenging her in the Dem primary. The answer is that he wouldn’t get very far — but Gillibrand wouldn’t walk away with the contest itself, with a potential split in the Democratic vote.
The numbers: Gillibrand 39%, an unnamed generic Republican candidate 34%, and Ford 10%. It doesn’t appear that Rasmussen polled a two-way general election between Gillibrand and Ford, or Gillibrand against a generic Republican. Rasmussen had to use a generic Republican precisely because there is no GOP candidate right now, and the party’s recruiting efforts have kept coming up short. (We’ll see whether the Republican victory in Massachusetts gets anybody interested in this race.)
From the pollster’s analysis: “Unlike in many other states, the national health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats is less of a factor in Republicans’ favor in New York. Forty-eight percent (48%) of Empire State voters favor the plan, while 49% oppose it. Those numbers include 26% who Strongly Favor it and 38% who Strongly Oppose, again a narrower gap than is found in most states and nationally.”