D'Amato's Uphill Battle
By Terry M. Neal
Of the 15 Republican senators up for reelection next year, Alfonse M. D'Amato (N.Y.) may have the toughest time of all especially if former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro enters the race.
Democratic campaign officials and a prominent GOP strategist familiar with New York politics said the early outlook is not good for D'Amato, who continues to be viewed negatively by many voters despite attempts to rehabilitate his image. The sources asked to remain anonymous.
A Quinnipiac College Polling Institute poll released last week seems to back that view. It had Ferraro up 54 percent to 36 percent in a head-to-head battle. Ferraro, co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," said she will announce by the end of the year whether she plans to run.
D'Amato even fairs poorly against lesser-known potential Democratic rivals Mark Green, New York City public advocate, and Rep. Charles E. Schumer. The statewide poll of registered voters shows Green leading D'Amato 47 percent to 39 percent. And it shows Schumer with 43 percent to D'Amato's 40, a statistical dead heat.
Maurice Carroll, director of the polling institute, cautioned against reading too much into the poll this early in the game. D'Amato is a good campaigner and prodigious fund-raiser who could make a strong showing next November.
D'Amato spokesman Lisette McSoud Mondello sees the positive. D'Amato's match-up numbers against Ferraro have improved by five points since July. "Once again, as people begin to focus on the campaign, they continue to focus on the hard work and accomplishments of Sen. D'Amato," she said.
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