By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — One poll's narrow margin is another's substantial lead.
A new Siena Research Institute poll shows Attorney General Andrew Cuomo with a comfortable lead over Carl Paladino in the race for governor.
The Siena poll says that if the election were held today, Cuomo would beat Paladino by a margin of more than 2 to 1, with a 57 to 24 percent lead over his Republican rival.
The news comes a day after a Quinnipiac University poll showed the state attorney general with only a six-point lead in the race.
"After his lopsided victory in the Republican primary, Paladino is now better known by New York voters – but not necessarily better liked, other than by Republican and conservative voters," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
"The good news for Paladino is that since last month, he has picked up 10 points against Cuomo," Greenberg said. "The bad news is that he remains far behind, trailing Cuomo by 33 points," while Paladino's opponent in the primary, Rick Lazio, "siphons off eight percent of the anti-Cuomo vote."
Voters who were surveyed indicated that they felt much better about Cuomo on core issues facing the state, including jobs, state budget deficits and education, Greenberg added.
Still, Paladino has over a month to close the gap, and with an enthusiastic base he can make up a lot of ground.
"In campaign terms, 40 days is a lifetime," Greenberg said, "so there’s time for Paladino to connect with voters and turn this race around, as his Republican primary performance proves,
"However, he has a very big hill to climb."