Poll: New Yorkers Don’t Want Daughters Interning for State Legislature

Sheldon Silver. (Photo: Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

Sheldon Silver. (Photo: Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

A slim majority of  New York voters think Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver should resign over his mishandling of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal, according to a new poll out Wednesday, which also found most parents want their daughters steering clear of Albany.

The Quinnipiac poll found that 51 percent of those surveyed think Mr. Silver should step down from office, versus just 22 percent who feel he should remain. The feeling was especially high among men, suburban voters and Republicans.

Mr. Silver’s approval rating also took a tumble because of the scandal, hitting its lowest point in the poll’s history, with 52 percent disapproving of the job he’s doing–up from 44 percent on April 17. Just 21 percent of voters polled think he’ doing a good job, following a pair of blistering reports that showed he was more interested in deflecting press attention than investigating allegations that Mr. Lopez was sexually harassing young staff.

“The Vito Lopez sex scandal persuades a bare majority of New Yorkers that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should step aside,” pollster Maurice Carroll said in a statement.

Given all the lurid headlines, most New Yorkers told the pollsters they wouldn’t want their daughters to intern for the State Legislature. “Not my daughter,” said 58 percent of voters. Fathers were especially adamant, as were those with children under the age of 18, the survey found.

“With all the stories about the bad behavior in Albany, would you want your daughter to be a legislative intern?  A majority of voters say no,” Mr. Carroll said.

The poll also found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s numbers have hit their lowest point to date, with 53 thinking he’s doing a good job, versus 30 percent who say he isn’t–his lowest net approval rating since he took office. Still, his approval rating stands at 68 percent among Democrats and 58 percent of all voters said he deserves to be re-elected, so his electoral standing remains relatively strong.

New Yorkers also remain skeptical of their government, however, with 67 percent saying the state government is “dysfunctional” and 86 percent saying corruption is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem.

The poll of 1,075 New York State voters, conducted from May 29 through June 3, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.