Governor Andrew Cuomo says his popularity probably took a shot after he pushed through a controversial gun policy package earlier this month.
The prognostication in question came during a Tuesday morning radio interview with New York Post columnist Fred Dicker. Mr. Dicker, who’s sparred with Mr. Cuomo in the past on the issue, predicted Mr. Cuomo’s typically sky-high numbers would take a tumble in the next statewide survey and Mr. Cuomo simply agreed.
“We know what the polls say on this because we’ve done it. We haven’t done it after the fact, but they were clear enough before the fact,” Mr. Cuomo replied. “I think your prediction is right.”
Mr. Cuomo argued the damage wouldn’t be due to the unpopularity of the NY SAFE Act, but rather because the gun law’s passionate detractors would be more likely to express their frustration on the single issue alone.
“The issue is about a 70-30 issue. 70 percent of the people of the state saying they wanted gun control, etcetera,” he explained. “Within the 30, there’s a group that feels very strongly about it. You’ve been making their case quite eloquently for a number of days. They tend to be [from] Upstate. They tend to be conservative. … I know their opposition. I know they’re going to be displeased. I would expect that you’re going to see that in the poll. And that will be that. They will be unhappy.”
Mr. Cuomo also claimed that some of the opposition to the new gun policies–which include tougher restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines–was due to “anxiety” that will eventually go away.
“There’s also I would say a fair level of confusion if not anxiety,” he said. “‘How does the law affect me? I’m a gun owner, what does it mean?’ And the law is technical and I think they have questions and I think that’s fueling the opposition now because it’s fueling the anxiety. I think when they actually find out about the law, it’s not going to be as bad as they think.”
Nevertheless, the governor emphasized that it wasn’t his job to avoid popular blowback
“That’s the nature of the business. I understand that, I expected it. I’ve gone through it before. We went through it with marriage equality. There are people who feel very strongly about an issue, and, especially in the immediate aftermath, they let you know about it!” he exclaimed. “We are not here as elected officials, to do the easy ones.”