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SIENA POLL: Molinaro closing in on Cuomo, but still down double-digits

Republican Marc Molinaro’s candidacy has picked up support in the final days of the campaign for governor, but he continues to trail Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo by 13 percentage points, according to a Siena College poll released Sunday morning.

The poll found Cuomo leading Molinaro 49 percent to 36 percent.

But that’s a smaller gap than the 22 percentage point difference that existed between them in October, when Cuomo led 50 percent to 28 percent.

Seven percent of voters are still undecided. Cuomo is seeking a third term this year and the independent party candidates, Larry Sharpe, Howie Hawkins and Stephanie Miner, all received less than 5 percent of support in the poll.

A plurality of voters, 47 percent, believe the state is heading in the wrong direction, including 58 percent of independents. Meanwhile, 63 percent of independent voters have an unfavorable view of the governor.

Overall, Cuomo’s favorable rating stands at 45 percent to 49 percent unfavorable.

But in the five-way matchup, Cuomo continues to hold broad leads in New York City with 77 percent of the vote and among 55 percent of labor union households.

And he continues to hold support with a core set of Democratic and self-identified liberal voters.

The race is closer with suburban voters, where Cuomo leads Molinaro 44 percent to 41 percent. Upstate, Molinaro leads Cuomo by 10 percentage points, 46 percent to 36 percent.

At the same time, male voters are tilting toward Molinaro 45 percent to 41 percent. Cuomo continues to hold a wide lead with women, 56 percent to 28 percent.

The poll also suggests Republican voters “coming home” to Molinaro in the final days of the race.

Cuomo has for the last several months blanketed the airwaves and social media space with TV ads, both during his primary campaign as well as in the weeks since he defeated Cynthia Nixon.

Molinaro has not been able to muster a spending budget even close to what the governor’s campaign could afford.

In the race for the U.S. Senate, Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand is handily leading Republican challenger Chele Farley 58 percent to 35 percent.

Democratic attorney general candidate Letitia James, meanwhile, holds a 12-percentage point lead over Republican Keith Wofford, 49 percent to 37 percent, little changed from the 50 percent to 36 percent spread last month.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli also holds a wide lead over Republican opponent Jonathan Trichter, 62 percent to 25 percent.

The poll comes as Democrats on Tuesday expect to make gains in the state Senate and in key races for the House of Representatives. More than half of voters polled in New York want Democrats to gain control of both; independent voters are split, however.

The poll of 641 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. It has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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