Almost 60 percent of New York voters favour Hillary Clinton for new Senate term

Almost six in 10 New York voters say they would cast their ballots to re-elect Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton while those same voters are expressing very mixed feelings about one of her highest-profile potential challengers, a statewide poll reported Wednesday.

The poll, from Siena College's Research Institute, found that while 24 percent of voters had a favorable view of potential Clinton challenger Jeanine Pirro, 25 percent had an unfavorable view of her while 51 percent said they didn't have an opinion yet about her.

That unfavorable rating for Pirro, the district attorney Westchester County just north of New York City, has doubled in three months, the AP reports.

Clinton, who national polls have as the front-runner for the 2008 Democratic presidential election, had a 59 percent favorable rating in the Siena poll. That is the same percentage of voters who said they would vote to re-elect her to a second Senate term in 2006.

Fifty-nine percent of voters said they favored Clinton, compared to 31 percent for Pirro. In Siena's August poll, Clinton led Pirro 55 percent to 34 percent. The former first lady led Manhattan lawyer Edward Cox, a son-in-law of the late President Richard Nixon, 60 percent to 30 percent, in the latest poll. Other recent independent statewide polls have shown Clinton with similar big leads over her potential challengers. A.M.

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