ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ With a new poll showing the Senate race between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tightening, the first lady on Sunday picked up the first political party endorsement of the campaign.
``I consider this the beginning of a partnership,″ Clinton told the convention of the Working Families Party, a small, labor union-backed third party.
She promised to be ``a voice and a vote″ in the Senate for working families.
The Working Families Party was created in New York two years ago to push the Democratic Party toward the left, and to help the Senate candidacy of Democrat Charles Schumer against Republican incumbent Alfonse D’Amato. Schumer won that race.
Minor party endorsements can be valuable in the race because unlike other states, New York allows major party candidates to add votes cast for them on third party ballot lines to their overall vote total. That can make the difference in close elections.
Meanwhile, a New York Post poll out Sunday and conducted by Zogby International showed Clinton favored by 45 percent of likely voters surveyed to 42 percent for the New York City mayor, a statistical tie. A Zogby poll conducted three weeks ago had Giuliani leading the first lady, 49 percent to 42 percent.
Pollster John Zogby attributed the shift, in part, to voter dissatisfaction with the mayor’s handling of the shooting 10 days ago of an unarmed black man by New York City police.
The statewide telephone poll of 710 likely voters was conducted Friday and Saturday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Two other statewide polls _ by Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion and by the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute _ taken before the shooting had shown Giuliani with slight leads over the first lady. A CBS News-New York Times poll had shown the race even.