ALBANY—After two weeks of a paralyzing leadership struggle in the State Senate, a record 63 percent of voters surveyed in a poll released today think New York is heading in the wrong direction.
"Two-thirds of New York voters think the Senate leadership fight is bad for the people of the state," said Steve Greenberg, a spokesman for the Siena Research Institute, which conducted the poll. "An overwhelming 84 percent think the fight will make it harder to pass important legislation—legislation that voters want the Senate to act upon, including property tax reform, state government ethics reform, reducing pension costs, and legislation on same sex marriages."
The 626 registered voters surveyed were similarly unkind to the two turncoat Democrats responsible for triggering the struggle: State Senators Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada Jr. Only 6 percent had a favorable opinion of Monserrate (compared to the 36 percent who viewed him unfavorably) and 13 percent had a favorable opinion of Espada (compared to 33 percent who viewed him unfavorably). State Senator John Sampson, the newly selected leader of the Democratic conference, was unknown to 79 percent of those surveyed, and was viewed favorably by 9 percent.
The poll also asked who voters would like to see in control of the Senate. Almost half, 49 percent, said they would like to see a coalition of Republicans and Democrats running the chamber, compared to 30 percent who wanted Democrats in charge and 17 percent who want the Republicans.
In other news, David Paterson's dismal standing improved a little bit. His job approval rating climbed to 20 percent from 18 percent last month—the poll has a 3.9 percent margin of error—and his favorability rating climbed to 31 percent from 27 percent.
That said, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo—whose unfavorability rating remains at a record low—still trounces Paterson in a primary, 69-16.