We are two weeks away from primary voting in New York State Primaries for federal races. The race drawing the most attention, statewide, is the three way contest for the republican nomination for U.S. Senate. YNN's Bill Carey says the republicans are hoping, once the ballots are cast, the outlook for the Senate race in the fall will improve.
CAYUGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Wendy Long hopes to be a U.S. Senator. But she and her two opponents in a Republican primary, George Maragos and Bob Turner, have the same problem: While voters know the current democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, they aren't quite sure who the GOP contenders are.
“I'm not at all concerned that the voters don't know me right now, or either of my republican challengers. Just because we haven't had a chance to get around. I think that will be remedied after the primary on June 26th,” Long said.
There is actually some hope that the remaining two weeks in the Republican primary battle will help change the public awareness of the challengers.
“The fact that there is a primary. That there is a little division. Actually, we're hoping this will help create a little bit of a buzz to help to get people to understand that we do need to run somebody against Gillibrand. That she is beatable,” Cayuga County Conservative Chair Greg Rigby said.
The republicans are welcoming an early primary this year. They say it will allow them to settle on a final candidate and then spend four months focusing their message on defeating Kirsten Gillibrand. Party leaders say they will stress that voters don't really know the democrat incumbent.
“Senator Gillibrand doesn't have an identity. She was such a conservative, upstate member of Congress and now she is the farthest, most liberal in the United States Senate,” said New York State Republican Chair Edward Cox.
Long said, “ I would not want to be an entrenched democrat incumbent who was a cheerleader for all the failed Obama policies and who thinks the private sector is doing just fine when it's not doing just fine.”
Still, candidates like Long have their work cut out for them. The latest surveys show her beating any of the republicans by a two to one margin.