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NY: Cuomo leads, Gillibrand trails

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, has extended his huge 32-point lead in February over current Gov. David Paterson in a hypothetical match-up to a whopping 43 points, 61%-18%, according to a Quinnipiac poll out today.

Paterson's approval rating of 28% is the lowest ever for a New York state governor. Cuomo, in contrast, has an incredible 75%-14% approval rating. Cuomo beats Republican Rudy Giuliani in a potential match-up; Paterson loses.

Cuomo has not announced a 2010 bid, but he has certainly kept his name in the news, taking up the mantle of Wall St. pitbull. Just today, in fact, as CNBC reported, he charged J. Ezra Merkin with steering $2.4 billion in investor assets to Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme.

Also in the poll, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to replace Hillary Clinton, still trails in a Democratic primary match-up with Carolyn McCarthy, 33%-29%. McCarthy, who has said she would challenge Gillibrand, led in February by 10 points, 34%-24%.

Opinion, however, hasn't settled in this race, and it is very fluid. Voters said they didn't really know either candidate -- 64% said they didn't know enough about Gillibrand to have an opinion; 68% said so about McCarthy. 

In a general election 2010 Senate match-up, Gillibrand leads Pete King 40%-28%.

Some gov numbers:
-- Gov race - D primary: Cuomo 61%, Paterson 18% (Even Democrats, by a 49%-45% margin say Paterson should drop out of the 2010 race.)
-- Gov race - general: Giuliani 53%, Paterson 32%
-- Gov race - general: Cuomo 53%, Giuliani 36%
-- Paterson approval: 28% approve/60% disapprove
-- Cuomo approval: 75% approve/14% disapprove
-- Paterson favorability: Overhwhelming net negative at 27%/55%
-- Cuomo favorability: 63% fav/17% unfav (including a 43-33 positive rating among Republicans.)
-- Giuliani favorability: 55%/35%