updated 9/18/2006 12:08:45 PM ET 2006-09-18T16:08:45

Democrats, led by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, could be positioned for an electoral sweep in New York that would leave them in control of every statewide elected office for the first time in more than six decades.

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The first post-primary statewide poll, out Monday from Siena College's Research Institute, reported that Spitzer is maintaining a huge lead - 72 percent to 21 percent - over John Faso, a former state Assembly minority leader, in the race to replace lame-duck Republican Gov. George Pataki.

And, the poll had Clinton leading her Republican challenger, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer, 62 percent to 33 percent.

In the race to replace Spitzer as attorney general, former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo led former Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro 53 percent to 36 percent. Democratic incumbent Alan Hevesi was ahead of Christopher Callaghan, a former Saratoga County treasurer, 56 percent to 23 percent, in the state comptroller's race, according to the poll. 2006 key races

Clinton, Spitzer and Cuomo all scored big wins in last week's statewide primaries while Hevesi was unopposed for the Democratic nomination in his bid for a second, four-year term. Only Spencer faced a statewide primary on the GOP side, beating Reagan-era Pentagon official Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland, a political novice, for the right to take on Clinton.

Public opinion polls
Siena poll spokesman Steven Greenberg noted that while Spitzer is leading Faso by 82 percentage points among Democrats, the attorney general is even leading by 8 percentage points among Republican voters. Faso narrowly lost the state comptroller's race to Hevesi in 2002.

"Eliot Spitzer is in a commanding position and appears poised to win a victory of historic proportion," said Greenberg.

Clinton, who leads national polls among potential 2008 Democratic presidential contenders, has the support of one-third of GOP voters in the new poll.

With Democrat Charles Schumer already holding New York's other U.S. Senate seat, the party could be on the verge of holding all statewide elected offices for the first time since 1942 when Herbert Lehman was governor. Republicans last held all of New York's statewide offices, and only for a few months, in 1949.

"The Republican Party is as weak as it's been in the last 50 years in New York," said Greenberg, a longtime Democratic operative in New York politics before he founded an independent public relations firm after the 2002 election.

Siena's telephone poll of 625 likely voters was conducted Sept. 13-14 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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