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Poll Shows More Evidence Trump May Affect N.Y. State Senate Outcome

Carolyn Kaster
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, and New York delegates applaud as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

There’s more evidence that the presidential race may be affecting which party controls the state Senate.

Currently, the GOP is holding on, with the help of one Democrat who meets with them. But a new Siena College poll finds that nearly two-thirds of voters think that Donald Trump at the top of the ticket will not help Republicans hold on to the Senate, and Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential candidate will actually help Democrats regain the Senate, says Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

“This is a sentiment, this is not a look at a particular Senate district,” said Greenberg, who said the poll shows there are a “sizeable number” of Republican voters who are concerned about Trump at the top of the GOP ticket.

“They don’t want to support him, and are not sure whether they are going to come out and vote or not,” Greenberg said. 

The politics of the Senate are far more complicated than just Democrats versus Republicans, though. Five senators meet in their own group, the Independent Democratic Conference. They have formed a coalition with Republicans in the past, and have not promised that they’d necessarily rejoin with the other Democrats after elections.  

The poll also looked at the race for U.S. Senate, and finds Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, continues to be very popular, even among some Republicans, with a nearly 40-point lead over his challenger, Republican Wendy Long.

“We’re less than 12 weeks to Election Day, and it appears that Chuck Schumer is coasting to an easy reelection to a fourth term,” said Greenberg.

Senator Schumer is also likely to be the next Senate majority leader, should Democrats regain control of the U.S. Senate.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.
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