Poll: Paterson Sinks Lower, Somehow. Gillibrand Too.

ALBANY—A year after he became governor, David Paterson’s job approval rating has slipped to 19 percent, according to a new poll released today.

On top of that, the poll by the Siena Research Institute found that fewer than one third of the 626 registered voters surveyed view Paterson favorably—just 29 percent. Twice as many—58 percent—view him unfavorably. And if Attorney General Andrew Cuomo were to run against Paterson in the Democratic primary, he would hypothetically win by 50 points—67 to 17.

“The speed of his falling numbers is staggering,” said Siena’s pollster Steve Greenberg in a public statement. “Two months ago, 60 percent of voters viewed Paterson favorably, and now it’s less than half of that. Similarly, while more than half of voters said the Governor was doing an excellent or good job two months ago, now fewer than one-in-five believes that, with more than three-quarters saying he’s doing only a fair or poor job.  More than two-thirds of voters prefer ‘someone else’ for governor next year.”

Paterson’s numbers have been tanking since his selection of a U.S. senator turned into what he himself described as a “circus.” He has brought on new staffers to try to shake up his administration, but the changes aren’t showing in his poll numbers, clearly. Many legislators and observers say that this budget cycle will make or break Paterson’s chances of re-election.

The Siena Poll found that 88 percent of voters think it’s important that a budget be delivered by the April 1 deadline, but 62 percent don’t think state lawmakers will make it in time.

The poll also found that Kirsten Gillibrand’s favorability rating stands at 26 percent, down from 34 percent last month.