A new Quinnipiac poll shows that voters still overwhelmingly approve of Andrew Cuomo and his diplomatic approach to governing, and that diminishing benefits for state workers is the most popular approach to balancing the budget.
By an almost 4-to-1 margin among both Democrats and Republicans, voters approve of the job Cuomo is doing. An even larger share endorses his tactic of meeting with lawmakers to discuss working together, rather than simply impose his will. When then-Governor Eliot Spitzer vowed to “steamroll” his opponents, he initially registered strong voter support, but less than a year later approval of that method had plummeted.
“Those sit-down meals with legislators in the Governor’s Mansion are a good idea, voters think,” Quinnipiac Polling Insitute director Maurice Carroll said. “They prefer Cuomo’s friendly persuasion to the steamroller personality claimed by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Voters prefer breaking bread to breaking heads.”
Voters pointed to “very serious” or “somewhat serious” budget problems in New York, but a majority wanted to spare Medicaid and school aid from the budget axe. Reductions aimed at state workers, from shrinking pensions to imposing furloughs or a wage freeze, were seen as more desirable.
“Just about everyone agrees that the state is in miserable financial shape. But voters reject the Willie Sutton rule, to go where the money is,” Carroll said. “They oppose cuts in the
big budget items – school aid and Medicaid. They take aim at government workers, agreeing with Cuomo on a wage freeze and possible furloughs.”