Poll: Hillary Gains In N.Y. Suburbs

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive to watch Prince William as he takes part in The Sovereigns Parade at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. There were 446 Officer Cadets in the parade, of which 227 graduated and 14 different countries armed forces were represented. Getty Images/Julian Herbert

Hillary Clinton retains her narrow lead in the U.S. Senate race and has pulled into a statistical tie with Rep. Rick Lazio in the crucial battleground of New York City's suburbs, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Quinnipiac University poll showed the first lady with a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over Lazio among likely voters across the state, the same margin she held in Quinnipiac polls on Sept. 27 and Oct. 6.

Suburban New York, once a Lazio stronghold, has tightened considerably, the new poll shows. The poll found Lazio at 48 percent to Clinton's 46 percent in suburbs, a statistical tie. Just last month, Quinnipiac had Lazio leading in the suburbs, 53 percent to 40 percent.

"The poll shows our campaign based on issues continues to resonate," said Clinton spokeswoman Karen Dunn. She described Lazio's campaign as one based on insults and said he turned his back on upstate New York.

Lazio spokesman Dan McLagan discounted the latest poll results.

"We don't pay a whole lot of attention to the polls ... even when we're surging," McLagan said. "We know it's going to be a tight race."

As for the suburban numbers, McLagan said other polls have shown Lazio with a 12 percent to 15 percent lead. "We feel good about where we are," he said.

"I'm inclined to think that when push comes to shove, he'll do better in the suburbs - he's a suburban guy," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, but she added that "Time is running out and Rep. Lazio has not gained an inch on Mrs. Clinton since their first debate Sept. 13."

Among likely upstate voters, Lazio has a 49 percent-44 percent lead. In New York City, Clinton leads 61 percent to 31 percent.

Among key voting groups, Clinton leads Lazio 60 percent-30 percent among Jewish voters and has stretched her lead to 50 percent-41 percent among white women who are likely voters.

Those surveyed also thought Clinton would bring more federal aid to New York as a senator than Lazio, 53 percent to 35 percent, and that Clinton has a better grasp of New York issues and problems than Lazio, 51 percent to 37 percent.

The latest Quinnipiac poll of 969 likely voters was conducted by telephone from Oct. 12-16 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff