The majority of New York voters said Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) deserves to be re-elected to the Senate next year, but want her to pledge to serve a full, six-year term if she runs, a statewide poll reported Thursday.
The Democratic former first lady made such a pledge in 2000 when she ran for the Senate. Clinton, leading in the polls for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, has yet to offer such a pledge this time around.
Sixty-five percent of Democrats polled by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said she should pledge to serve a full term if she runs for re-election, but 61 percent also said they would like her to run for the White House in 2008. Overall, 41 percent of New York voters said she should run for president, including 17 percent of Republicans.
There was no immediate comment from Clinton.
Clinton had 2-1 or better leads over several potential Senate opponents and 67 percent of voters said she deserves to be re-elected.
"There doesn't seem to be oomph behind any of the Republicans mentioned as possible challengers," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Conn.-based polling institute.
New York Republicans have been struggling to find a big-name opponent to take on Clinton next year. Republican Gov. George Pataki (search) has said he's not interested and a top political aide to Rudolph Giuliani (search) said recently the former New York City mayor was too busy with private business interests to run for office next year. Both Pataki and Giuliani are believed to be eyeing possible 2008 presidential runs.
Quinnipiac's telephone poll of 1,191 registered voters was conducted April 28-May 2 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.