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Poll: Trump, Clinton hold big leads over opponents in New York

ALBANY – Whether it’s their policies, style or in-state home addresses, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton today hold strong leads over their opponents among New York registered Republicans and Democrats, a new poll has found.

With backing by 45 percent of New York Republicans, businessman Trump has a 27-point lead over his two nearest opponents – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich – who are both tied at 18 percent among New York Republicans. Trump is also far ahead of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who got 11 percent of New York Republican support, according to a poll released Monday morning by Siena College.

On the Democratic side, Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state who represented New York in the U.S. Senate, is ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 55 percent to 34 percent among registered Democrats in the state.

In hypothetical matchups if the general election were held today, Trump would lose New York to Clinton by 57 percent to 34 percent, and to Sanders by 57 percent to 33 percent.

Whether New York will still be in play when its presidential primary is held April 19 is an open question, though some Democratic and Republican leaders increasingly believe the Empire State’s primary could actually end up mattering this year – a rare event in modern political history.

Those numbers for Trump and Clinton assume the primary is held today, or more precisely, between Feb. 28 and March 3 when Siena polled 368 Democrats and 229 Republicans in this Democrat-dominated state.

Both Trump and Clinton are New York residents; Trump was raised in New York City and Clinton is a transplant who lives in Westchester County.

“Trump leads by 20 points over Cruz in New York City, 20 points over Kasich upstate and 26 points over Rubio in the downstate suburbs. He has commanding leads with Republican men and women, as well as Catholics and Protestants,” said Siena poll spokesman Steve Greenberg.

Trump captures 48 percent of the overall GOP vote in the downstate suburbs, 44 percent among upstate Republicans and 42 percent of the New York City GOP vote. Trump leads his opponents among moderate and conservative Republicans, those in union households, and tops 50 percent of the GOP voters between the ages of 35 and 54. Thirty-nine percent of those reporting household incomes under $50,000 annually backed Trump, while he got support from 49 percent of those making over $100,000 a year.

Trump is viewed favorably by 54 percent of New York Republicans; only 15 percent of Democrats, who hold a more than 2-to-1 voter enrollment edge in the state, reported a favorable opinion of Trump. At 56 percent, however, Kasich has the highest favorability rating among New York GOP voters, Siena found.

To be sure, Trump has some GOP weakness in New York. When asked which Republican they’d least like to see become president, 33 percent of GOP respondents – the most – named Trump.

When not a head-to-head matchup with his Democratic opponent, Vermont’s Sanders leads the four Republicans by between 19 percent and 37 percent; Clinton, on the other hand, leads the Republicans by between 7 percent and 25 percent. Her closest showing in a matchup against the four Republicans would be, as of today, Kasich; she leads him among both Democratic and GOP voters in New York by 49 percent to 42 percent, Siena said.

The margin of error for the poll covering all voters is 4.1 percent; the margin of error for Democratic respondents is 6.2 percent and that for Republicans is 6.7 percent.

Based on the primary results, New York’s delegates – there will be 291 on the Democratic side and 95 Republicans – will be awarded proportionally.

Clinton has a current favorability rating among New York registered voters of 48 percent, down from 75 percent in 2012.

March did not change from a Siena poll conducted in February in the contest between Clinton and Sanders. On the Republican side, though, Trump has seen his support among New York Republicans rise 11 points; he picked up most of his support from some unknown combination of a slide by Cruz and support transfers following the exit of some GOP contenders.

For Clinton, she scored the same in the new poll among Democrats across all three regions with 55 percent of the support. She leads Sanders among liberals, conservatives and moderates, and she runs especially strong with Democrats who are women, those over 55 years old, Protestants and higher income residents. Sanders, as seen in other states, does well against Clinton among younger voters; he leads her 47 percent to 40 percent among Democrats between the ages of 18 and 34.