By Joseph Spector
Albany Bureau Chief
ALBANY -- President Barack Obama has a 62 percent to 34 percent lead against Mitt Romney among New York likely voters, a Quinnipiac University poll Thursday said.
It's the first poll by Quinnipiac in the campaign of likely voters, not just registered voters.
Obama led 94 percent to 4 percent among Democrats and 58 percent to 37 percent among independent voters. Romney had a 89 percent to 10 percent lead with Republicans.
"The only reason President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney will come to New York is to raise money. Unless something unforeseen happens, the poll numbers say it's an Obama blow-out," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
A separate Siena poll Thursday showed a tight race for the U.S. House between Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and former Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei for a Syracuse-area seat. Each had 43 percent of support from voters, the poll found.
In 2010, Buerkle defeated Maffei by less than 700 votes or three-tenths of one percent," Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. "This year's rematch between the congresswoman and the former congressman looks like it will be another barnburner in a district that is virtually evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats."
New York has twice as many Democrats than Republicans. New York hasn't elected a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984.
In New York's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand held a 64 percent to 27 percent lead over Republican challenger Wendy Long.
Long's obstacle: 74 percent said they didn't know enough about her to form an opinion.
"The significant number in the Senate race is how many voters don't know enough to decide whether they like or dislike Wendy Long," Carroll said in a statement. "Hardly anyone knew Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand when she was first appointed but it looks like an easy six more years."
The poll was conducted Sept. 4-9 to 1,486 likely voters. It had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.
The Siena poll was conducted Sept. 5-10, by telephone calls to 625 likely voters. It had a margin of error of 3.9 percent.