1:57 pm Nov. 7, 20121
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand appears to have broken the record for a New York Senate candidate last night, when she won 72 percent of the vote in her race for a full six-year term.
The previous record was 71.2 percent of the vote, by her senior colleague, Chuck Schumer, in 2004.
Eliot Spitzer won 69 percent of the vote as a gubernatorial candidate in 2006.
Gillibrand, who remains popular upstate after representing the Capital Region in Congress, appears to have won all but two counties last night. (The two outliers are Wyoming and Allegany in Western New York.)
Her result this year was signficantly improved even from her showing two years ago, when she did noticeably well in her first statewide race, despite a national Republican wave.
She won 63 percent of the vote that year, a few points behind Schumer's 66 percent, and just ahead of Andrew Cuomo's 62.6 percent.
Despite the big win in 2010, Republicans insisted she was still "vulnerable" this cycle. And it appears some conservatives won't let go of the notion, no matter what number she puts up.
"I believe she is still vulnerable," said Conservative Party chairman Mike Long in an interview on New York 1 last night. "Because she really has no record to pile up and take credit for. And that was the key to this race. She lacks the record."
Long, who helped recruit this year's Republican candidate, Wendy Long, said Gillibrand won with "fancy commercials."
Gillibrand raised more than $15 million this cycle, and spent most of it, touting her efforts to help pass the September 11 health care bill, the STOCK Act, and to repeal the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
CORRECTION: This story originally stated that Spitzer won 79 percent of the vote in 2006. He won 69 percent.