Gillibrand, formerly a relatively obscure Upstate congresswoman, was appointed to the Senate in 2009 by then-Gov. David Paterson
to replace Hillary Clinton
, who resigned to become Secretary of State. But Gillibrand ran in a special election in 2010, defeating former Republican Rep. Joe DioGuardi
by 28 percentage points.
Despite Gillibrand's failure to gain traction with New York voters, Republicans are struggling to find a viable candidate. The New York Times reported on Monday
that one GOP prospect, Erie County businessman Marc Cenedella
, maintained a blog on TheLadders.com, a job-search website he founded, that contained "random observations about sex, women and drugs." On Tuesday, Cenedella told the Albany-based, statewide cable public affairs program Capital Tonight
he took "full responsibility" for the content of the site, though he accused Gillibrand of conducting a "smear campaign" against him.
"This is a smear attack by Kirsten Gillibrand who obviously has an interest in keeping me out of the race," Cenedella said.
"Getting smeared by a U.S. senator has made me a lot more optimistic about my chances," he added.
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos
, elected in 2009, is already seeking the GOP nomination.
The NY1-YNN Marist poll was conducted Jan. 18-19, surveying 554 registered voters. The poll's margin of error is +/- 4.2 percent. The poll did not test Cenedella -- or any other Republican -- against Gillibrand in a head-to-head matchup.