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Poll finds Cuomo maintaining lead over Molinaro but losing in upstate

ALBANY – A sharp upstate/downstate divide has once again emerged in a statewide political contest, with Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo leading heavily in New York City over Republican Marc Molinaro but trailing the Dutchess County executive among upstate voters, a new poll has found.

Cuomo, seeking a third term on Nov. 6, has an overall lead, getting 58 percent of likely voters' support compared with 35 percent for Molinaro, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

But the poll does not offer a complete picture of the contest: It did not ask about three minor party candidates on the ballot.

In just the two-way matchup, Cuomo leads Molinaro among independents, women and nonwhite voters. Molinaro leads Cuomo with white men and likely voters without a college degree.

Regionally, Cuomo grabs a commanding 77 percent of support of voters in New York City, while Molinaro leads Cuomo 52-41 percent among upstate voters. In the downstate suburbs north and east of the city, Cuomo is ahead 52-45 percent.

When asked if they might vote for someone else, 17 percent of Cuomo supporters said yes while 7 percent of Molinaro supporters said they may vote for someone else.

The poll vividly illustrates Molinaro’s inability to raise much cash to fund his campaign. When asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Republican candidate, 48 percent of respondents said they did not know enough about him to answer the question.

In other questions, likely voters were asked if they approved or disapproved of the way President Trump is handling his job. The answer showed a deep partisan divide: 88 percent of Republicans approve while only 10 percent of Democrats approve. Overall, in blue state New York, 60 percent of likely voters disapprove and 37 percent approve.

The poll, released early Thursday morning, asked about one other statewide contest. Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand leads Republican Chele Farley 58-33 percent.

The poll of 852 likely voters has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

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