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Don't Print Up those 'Caroline in 2010' Stickers Yet

9:53 AM, Jan 8, 2009 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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Public Policy Polling has completed a survey of New York voters, testing how Republican Peter King would fare in a Senate run against either Caroline Kennedy or Andrew Cuomo. The results lead you to question whether the dream is still alive:

Public Policy Polling's newest New York survey finds that both Andrew Cuomo and Caroline Kennedy would lead hypothetical match ups with Republican Congressman Peter King in 2010- but there's a wide disparity in the margins.

Cuomo, it appears, would be an easy winner against King. He leads him 48-29 in a hypothetical pairing, and that's with only 35% of black voters pledging to support him at this very preliminary stage.

Kennedy only edges King 46-44. She loses a full quarter of the Democratic vote at this point in time and also has a 15 point gap among independent voters.

"2010 is a long ways off but if Governor Paterson is looking at initial electability when deciding who to appoint Andrew Cuomo should be the pick," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.

Senator Clinton's confirmation hearing is next week, and she seems likely to win speedy Senate approval for the post of Secretary of State. That means Paterson will face an open Senate seat within a few weeks. On paper, nominating Kennedy seems a leap, at best. If she fares poorly in the Senate it will reflect on him -- and damage him in a likely primary race against Cuomo. If he takes Cuomo on the other hand, he can eliminate the strongest threat to his renomination, and argue that he was more or less forced to pick the stronger candidate.

Of course, that was the calculus in New York a month ago, but Kennedy still emerged as the likely pick. Will Paterson stick with that choice, turn to Cuomo, or select a wild card candidate like Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand?