Associated Press
January 11, 2000

First Lady To Announce Run in February


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton said today she will formally announce her Senate candidacy in early February and hopes to have the president and daughter Chelsea at her side.

``That's my timetable,'' the first lady said when asked if she planned to make it official next month. ``It will take a while to get everybody organized to do it,'' she said.

Mrs. Clinton, who confirmed in November that she intended to run, said today she wanted her husband and daughter on hand for the historic announcement. No first lady has ever run for public office.

``That's one of the plans that I have, and I have to be sure that I've got their schedules coordinated, but that's what I'm planning,'' Mrs. Clinton said.

Asked if daughter Chelsea would take time off from her studies at Stanford University to help her mother campaign in New York, Mrs. Clinton said only, ``That's down the road.''

In this year's Senate race, Mrs. Clinton is expected to face New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The mayor has yet to say when he will formally announce his candidacy.

Both Mrs. Clinton and the mayor have been campaigning across New York and raising money for the Senate race for months.

Meanwhile, the first statewide poll results since the first lady became a New York resident last week weren't especially encouraging: She was still trailing Giuliani and her favorable rating fell below 50 percent for the first time in the state since pollsters started watching her prospective Senate bid.

The Marist Institute for Public Opinion found Giuliani supported by 49 percent of registered voters to Mrs. Clinton's 40 percent. Eleven percent were undecided.

The head-to-head findings in the poll of 621 registered voters conducted Sunday and Monday were identical to the institute's December poll, according to the pollsters from Marist College in Poughkeepsie.

The margin for error, however, is plus or minus 4 percentage points, so the race remains close.

Mrs. Clinton's positive rating dropped to 48 percent of those polled. That's compared with 52 percent in December and a high of 68 percent in February. Giuliani's favorable rating is 61 percent in the latest count, about the same as the 60 percent level in December.

Only 45 percent in the poll were satisfied with the choice between Mrs. Clinton and Giuliani, and 51 percent wanted to see someone else run.

Pollster Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute, said, ``The best thing each of them have going for them is their opponent. The negatives are high enough to keep things locked in place.''

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