NEW YORK (AllPolitics, March 26) -- In a theoretical match-up between former Gov. Mario Cuomo and Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato in New York's 1998 senatorial race, Cuomo would soundly win, according to a new statewide poll. In the independent survey conducted by Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, 55 percent said they would vote for Cuomo while only 37 would support D'Amato. There is some good news for D'Amato, though. So far Cuomo has expressed no interest running for the Senate. And D'Amato fared somewhat better against more likely opponents, losing to Geraldine Ferraro by only 4 percentage points and New York City Public Advocate Mark Green by two points, while beating U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey by a respectable 13 points. A three-term senator, D'Amato has recently been battling to improve his low approval ratings. The Marist poll put that figure at 36 percent. Equal numbers of voters said they would definitely vote for D'Amato as said they would definitely not vote for him. The telephone survey of 603 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
Albright Visits Helms Country
WINGATE, N.C. (AllPolitics, March 26) -- They are one of politics' odder couples but the lovefest between Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) continues. On Tuesday, Albright ventured into Helms' turf to visit with the senator and give a speech at North Carolina's Wingate University. She arrived bearing the gift of a T-shirt that read, "Someone at the State Department Loves Me," and declaring that she and Helms were "developing a pretty good friendship." Helms was more than happy to return the platitudes by introducing her as the lady who "has won the hearts of millions of people across America and around the world." Even sweeter music to Albright's ears were his comments on possible movement on Senate ratification of the chemical weapons treaty. Previously Helms has blocked all administration efforts to pass it but Tuesday he said that he would schedule an April 9 hearing on the issue. "If they sit down and be realistic about it, there's certainly a chance we'll get a treaty," said Helms.
Fowler Speaks Out
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 26) -- Everyone is missing the point, embattled former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler says. The current fund-raising flap is distracting Washington from the true victory, which is that Bill Clinton was re-elected. "We won the election. That was the big piece of this campaign. Whatever my legacy is, or is not, is very secondary to that," Fowler told reporters. "There is a great body of information that's yet to come... We raised a great deal of money that was totally and 100 percent legitimate." Last week Fowler denied charges that he pressured an official of the National Security Council or improperly requested information from a Central Intelligence Agency staffer in order to gain a contributor access to White House events.
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