Caroline Kennedy a Danger to Democrats

A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows Caroline Kennedy in a statistical dead heat with possible Republican candidate Rep. Peter King, while Attorney General Andrew Cuomo would be in a clear lead. I personally put little faith in a single poll and even less in a poll taken two years out from the election. But the PPP poll, along with other polls showing Caroline Kennedy's popularity slipping, point to the biggest problem with her potential appointment to the Senate.

Caroline Kennedy is untested and (besides from high name recognition) unknown. It is possible that she could be an excellent senator and a great campaigner, but there is also the possibility that she could end up appearing like a deer in the headlights. She has never run for any office and never had to face an opponent in a debate. We have no idea if she is a great or a lousy campaigner.

New York is a very Democratic state. Unless there is a very pro-Republican political environment or an extremely weak Democratic candidate, the Democrats should be able to hold on to the New York Senate seat in 2010. It is almost impossible to imagine a proven Democratic candidate like Andrew Cuomo losing without a major scandal or political disaster.

An the other hand, it is possible to picture how Caroline Kennedy could end up losing. She might take positions out of line with the state, have a disastrous debate performance, or make a series of political missteps. Is it likely? No, but it is possible. Since she has never run for office we just don't know how she will hold up under the stress of a campaign.

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