A new Siena College poll shows 77 percent of New Yorkers have a “favorable” impression of Governor Andrew Cuomo and most voters support key elements of his 2012 agenda. The poll also showed strong support for President Barack Obama and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Siena also polled voters on the Republican presidential candidates. Though all of the potential GOP nominees scored far lower numbers than President Obama in the poll, New Yorkers clearly have an especially strong distaste for Newt Gingrich.
According to the poll 64 percent of voters in the State think Governor Cuomo is doing an “excellent” or “good” job. Just nine percent of poll respondents rated the governor’s performance as “poor.” Three of the governor’s key budget proposals; teacher evaluations, pension reform and a new convention center at the Aqueduct racetrack site, also showed strong support in the poll. Teacher evaluations were supported by 71 percent of those polled, 69 percent of respondents expressed support for pension reform and 61 percent backed the convention center. The governor’s proposals to invest $1 billion in Western New York and to pass a constitutional amendment lifting the State ban on casino gambling each drew support from 52 percent of respondents in the poll.
In addition to expressing support for the governor and key elements of his agenda, poll respondents also disagreed with negative statements about the governor. According to the poll, 65 percent of New Yorkers disagree with the statement Governor Cuomo is out of touch and 72 percent disagreed with the idea he’s trying to “impose his agenda … acting more like a king than a governor.”
Despite the strong support for the governor, the poll showed 74 percent of voters oppose giving him a raise. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has pushed for a pay raise for the Legislature. According to the poll, 67 percent of voters oppose giving Albany lawmakers a raise.
President Obama showed a 64 percent favorability rating in the poll, his highest since January, 2010. The poll also showed President Obama would earn over 60 percent of the vote in the general election against any of his four potential Republican rivals; Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. Mr. Gingrich gave up the biggest margin to the president with just 26 percent of poll respondents saying he’d get their vote.
Mr. Gingrich also showed the highest unfavorability rating–including among registered Republicans. According to the poll 67 percent of New York voters and 47 percent of Republicans in the State have an “unfavorable” impression of Mr. Gingrich. By comparison, just 55 percent of voters statewide and 40 percent of New York Republicans have an “unfavorable impression of Mr. Romney.
Senator Gillibrand, who’s facing re-election this year, earned a 52 percent favorability rating with 53 percent of voters saying they’d support her bid to remain in office, a record high for the State’s junior senator. The poll also showed Senator Gillibrand would defeat her potential Republican rival, George Maragos, by a wide margin.
According to the poll, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are largely unknown to most New Yorkers. When asked if they had a favorable impression of both men, 63 percent of respondents said they didn’t know who Mr. Schneiderman was or had no opinion of his work and 58 percent of voters polled said they hadn’t heard of Mr. DiNapoli.