In New York, voters like Paterson and oppose legalized prostitution

David Paterson has been Governor of New York since Monday and voters already like him: he has a 46%-3% approval rating, and 65% of voters already know who he is, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released early this morning. Three-fourths of New York voters (75%) say he will govern effectively and 67% expect that he’ll restore trust in state government. The pollster said that revelations of his extramarital affairs caused voter attitudes about Paterson to shift slightly during the last night of the survey.

“Gov. David Paterson begins with good wishes. By big margins, New Yorkers think he’ll restore public trust – boy, can Albany use that – and be able to govern effectively,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

By a 62%-30% margin, New York voters oppose legalized prostitution, and by a 66%-26% margin do not view it as a victimless crime. By a 73%-19% margin voters believe people who patronize prostitutes should face the same legal penalties as prostitutes. The Quinnipiac numbers reflect a gender gap on the prostitution issue, with women having stronger opposition in each category.

“New York City voters are slightly more tolerant of the world’s oldest profession than voters upstate, and men are less opposed than women to the idea of legalized prostitution, but opposition is strong among all groups,” Carroll said.

In the 2010 race for Governor, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg leads Paterson 29%-27%, with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 25% and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo at 11%.

In New York, voters like Paterson and oppose legalized prostitution