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New Siena Poll Released On Cuomo-Nixon Gubernatorial Race: Gap Is Closer Among Younger Voters

Cynthia Nixon during a Syracuse campaign stop.
Cynthia Nixon during a Syracuse campaign stop. Photo Credit: Facebook

As pundits and pols always say, the most important poll is on Election Day.

Even so, the latest Siena College public-opinion poll offers some telling trends in the Democratic primary race between incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New Castle and Cindy Nixon of New York City, an education activist best known for her TV acting in "Sex And The City."

The good news for Cuomo: His overall lead remains solid at 60 to 29 percent among likely primary election voters. About 11 percent were undecided.

The bad news: His support among the state's youngest voters as well as Upstate voters is much weaker. And many younger voters, especially women, remain undecided, according to the poll, which can be accessed online by clicking here .

About 12 percent of women were undecided in the Cuomo-Nixon primary race. And 13 percent of Upstate voters remain undecided, where Cuomo's lead over Nixon was a narrower 21 percent at 54 to 33 percent.

But will the undecided voters come out to vote in September's primary?

Among voters between the ages of 18 to 34, Cuomo's lead over Nixon was just 14 percentage points, according to the latest poll. (Cuomo's lead was 51-37 percent among this age group.)

Among likely voters between the ages of 35 to 54, Cuomo's lead was just 17 percent.  (Cuomo's lead was 54 to 37 among this age group.)

“Both younger voters and liberals – despite favoring Cuomo in the horse race – say Nixon is better on three of the five issues: corruption, progressive policies and public education," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

The two-term governor's strongest support appears to come from older voters. Those likely to vote who are 55 or older were more supportive of Cuomo. His margin over Nixon was 39 percentage points among the oldest likely voters, at 64 to 25 percent -- with about 10 percent of that age group undecided.

Siena College's Greenberg said, “More than 80 percent of Democrats supporting Cuomo say they are voting for him more than voting against Nixon, however, 60 percent of Nixon voters say their vote is more against Cuomo than it is for her."

Greenberg said that Nixon has the anti-Cuomo Democrats but she’ll need to expand on that to make this race competitive.

William O'Reilly, a campaign consultant for Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor, said:  "These polls are essentially meaningless in primaries like this one where turnout is the predominant factor. The key questions for both Nixon and Cuomo needs to be: who are my supporters and how do I get them out on September 13?"

"Ms. Nixon has a more enthusiastic base by far, but Andrew Cuomo has the unions and all the levers of persuasion that come with them. One thing is certain: This primary will be a heck of lot closer than this poll suggests," O'Reilly predicted.

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