ALBANY—David Paterson’s popularity is inching upward, but 65 percent of voters surveyed in a new Siena poll would vote for “someone else” in the 2010 election as opposed to 19 percent for Paterson.
“Interestingly, Paterson’s favorability jumped seven points with Republicans and six points with independent voters, while falling three points with Democrats, despite seeing improvement with two significant Democratic constituencies, African American and Jewish voters,” said Steve Greenberg, a spokesman for the Siena Research Institute. “His job performance rating is also up slightly but remains an anemic 23 percent positive compared to 76 percent negative.”
This reflects Paterson’s focus on a message of fiscal toughness and several “community conversations” at black churches in the outer boroughs. He has also been airing campaign advertisements.
At least Paterson’s numbers are not continuing to drop. He faces a bruising budget this spring, where he will no doubt be attacked by legislators, unions and other interest groups.
The poll also showed an interesting bifurcation: 23 percent of voters surveyed thought Paterson was doing the best job to resolve the budget crisis, compared to 19 percent who named legislators as doing the best job, but voters support legislators in their rejection of mid-year school cuts by a 59-37 margin.
Politically, Paterson edges Rick Lazio–a Republican who is his only declared opponent–by two points. (This is less than the poll’s 3.8 percent margin of error.) Voters still love Paterson’s presumptive Democratic opponent, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has a stratospheric 67 percent approval rating (down slightly from last month) and half the voters surveyed want to see him run for governor.
Fifty-one percent said he has time to wait to declare his candidacy, though.
Below are the cross-tabs from Siena.