ALBANY, N.Y. – The statewide poll from Marist College found that 46 percent of New York voters believe Clinton did something unethical concerning the pardons handed out by her husband at the end of his presidency.
Another 15 percent said the former first lady did something illegal in connection with the pardons. Thirty-nine percent said they felt she had done nothing wrong.
The telephone poll of 514 registered voters was conducted on Monday and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
The poll also found that 58 percent of those asked said they didn't believe Clinton's claim last week that she didn't know until after the fact that her brother, lawyer Hugh Rodham, had received almost $400,000 to successfully lobby for two presidential pardons. Thirty percent said they believe her.
A poll published Sunday by the New York Post, conducted by Zogby International, found that 58 percent of New York voters didn't believe Clinton's statement that she knew nothing about her brother's actions.
Nonetheless, 48 percent of those polled still had a favorable opinion of the former first lady. Forty-four percent said their opinion was unfavorable.
"There's clearly damage in terms of people not believing her," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist institute. But Miringoff said New Yorkers are adopting a "wait-and-see attitude" on her Senate performance.
In the poll, the new senator's job approval rating stood at 30 percent, while 42 percent rated her as fair or poor. Twenty-eight percent said they weren't sure how to rate her.
"What the poll doesn't ask is whether New Yorkers prefer their senators to focus on the issues that matter most, like health care and education, because that's what Senator Clinton is doing every day," Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy said.
The polls come as The New York Observer ran a front-page editorial Tuesday saying that if Clinton had "any shame, she would resign." The paper had endorsed Clinton's rival, former Republican Rep. Rick Lazio, in the Senate race.