Poll: New Yorkers Reject Paterson, But Accept His Marriage Proposal

ALBANY—David Paterson's political standing remains extraordinarily low, a new poll out today finds.

The survey by the Siena Research Institute found Paterson's job approval rating has slipped one point to 18 percent, and his favorability rating is down two points from last month to 27 percent. More than twice as many of the 682 voters surveyed do not approve of the governor, or 63 percent. Both changes are within the poll's margin of error.

In seeking to find out why, Siena asked what contributed to Paterson's declining popularity. The biggest reasons were his handling of the state budget and approving pay raises for staffers. Two thirds of voters surveyed cited that Paterson "has shown he's just not up to the job of being our governor" as contributing to the popularity decline.

He runs far behind in a hypothetical primary contest against Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and in a general election against Rudy Giuliani.

Paterson's latest maneuver to become more popular, the introduction of a same-sex marriage bill, has the support of a solid majority of voters surveyed. Fifty-three percent said they believe the State Senate should pass the measure, compared to 39 percent who remain opposed.

"By a fairly significant margin, voters would like to see New York join with Vermont, Massachusetts, Iowa, and other states in allowing same sex couples to marry here," Siena Poll spokesman Steve Greenberg said. "For women and young voters it's a resounding ‘yes.' Men and older voters are more closely divided and more likely to say ‘no.' "