Associated Press
September 27, 2000

NY Poll Shows Clinton at 50 Percent

by Marc Humbert

ALBANY(AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton has reached the 50 percent support level for the first time in her Senate race against Republican Rep. Rick Lazio, according to a major statewide independent poll released Wednesday.

Among the likely voters questioned, Lazio trailed with 43 percent, according to the poll issued by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

A Sept. 12 poll by the institute had the first lady leading the congressman from Long Island by 49 percent to 44 percent.

``We know this race is going to be close, but it's nice to hit the big five-oh,'' Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said.

Lazio's campaign played down the new results.

``Polls have been all over the place, so we don't pay much attention to them,'' spokesman Dan McLagan said. ``Essentially, there's no change from the last Quinnipiac poll.''

Quinnipiac's telephone poll of 889 likely voters, conducted Sept. 20-25, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

It found the race extremely close in traditionally more conservative upstate New York, with Lazio at 46 percent and Clinton at 44 percent. In the New York City suburbs, Lazio led 53 percent to 40 percent, but in the heavily Democratic city itself Clinton was ahead 67 percent to 39 percent.

Two polls out last week had different findings as to the closeness of the race.

Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion had the two tied at 48 percent each among likely voters. A New York Times/CBS News poll had Clinton leading, 48 percent to 39 percent, among likely voters.

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