With less than two weeks left in the campaign, President Clinton holds a commanding lead of 22 percentage points over Republican challenger Bob Dole in New York State, according to a poll released Thursday.
The sole bright spot for Dole remains upstate New York, the part of the state north of Westchester and Rockland counties.
Upstate, which includes the Niagara Frontier, Dole leads the Democratic president by 3 percentage points, according to a Mason-Dixon survey conducted from Monday through Wednesday.
That could be good news for such Republican incumbents as Rep. Jack F. Quinn of Hamburg and Rep. James T. Walsh of Syracuse, who are struggling in marginal districts.
Despite Dole's overall upstate lead, previous polls have shown Clinton ahead of Dole in Erie County.
The Mason-Dixon projections in New York City and the city's suburbs are all negative for the former Senate majority leader.
Reflecting that, Assembly Minority Leader Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Springville, said he thinks Dole will lose New York and its 36 electoral votes.
"It would take a significant break to have Dole carry New York," Reynolds said. "It would be a challenge on any given day, and it appears in the later stages of this campaign that it's not going to be reachable."
Reynolds, the former Erie County Republican chairman, is one of the architects of Dole's victory in the state's GOP presidential primary last spring.
Dole's television advertising on New York City stations, aimed mainly at neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut, has been pulled. Reynolds said that was likely a good thing for Dole.
"I think when people see Dole from afar, they seem to have a better appreciation of Dole's potential than when they're watching his commercials," Reynolds said. "I can't explain it."
Dole's campaign lacked "telegenic charisma," Reynolds said. "Clinton, to date, has run a perfect campaign.
"Dole has been unable to bring a message that focused in the public's mind what he's about and what his agenda is," Reynolds told the Associated Press. "And, I think the economy has been stable enough that that has not been a factor that has had voters questioning Clinton's performance."
Statewide, the new poll gives Clinton 53 percent of the votes, with 31 percent for Dole and only 8 percent for Perot. Upstate, Dole leads Clinton 42 percent to 39 percent. Some of Clinton's earlier support has been shaved a few points and appears to have moved toward Perot.
The sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percent, meaning the race in the state has been statistically unchanged since July.
Perot's fortunes seem to be stunted because of his broad unpopularity. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed view him unfavorably, compared with 31 percent for Clinton and 37 percent for Dole.
Perot's standing with voters who identify themselves as independents has collapsed, with only 12 percent supporting him, compared with 51 percent for Clinton and 23 percent for Dole. Women back Clinton over Dole by 2-1.