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New poll shows lead by Cuomo

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo holds a 38-point lead over his nearest Republican rival in a hypothetical race for governor, a Siena Research Institute poll shows.

Cuomo, a Democrat who hasn't declared his candidacy, holds a 59 percent to 21 percent lead over Rick Lazio, a Republican, according to a telephone survey of 810 registered voters. The poll, conducted March 15-18, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

"With more than seven months until the election, the undeclared candidate for governor remains the candidate to beat," said Steven Greenberg, a spokesman for the Loudonville, N.Y.-based institute.

Cuomo holds a 47-point lead over Steve Levy, a Democrat who said Friday he will seek the Republican nomination. Among Republican voters, Lazio is ahead of Levy by 45 percent to 16 percent.

"After we informed those Republican voters that Lazio is a former Republican congressman and Levy is the current Democratic Suffolk County executive, and asked their choice again, Lazio expanded his lead to 60 [percent to] 19 percent," Greenberg said.

The poll showed 48 percent of voters oppose a plan by Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch to sell as much as $6 billion of bonds over three years to finance the state's budget deficit. Ravitch's proposal to create a new state financial review board received the support of 46 percent of voters.

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