Governor Andrew Cuomo reached his all-time high job approval last month, with 74 percent of the state’s voters telling Quinnipiac University that they approve of the governor’s performance and only 13 percent taking the opposing position. As Mr. Cuomo himself predicted yesterday, however, his support dropped after he quickly pushed the passage of a new gun policy package earlier this month. He now stands at a still-respectable 59 – 28 approval rating.
In a Quinnipiac survey released this morning, Republicans appear to be a key factor in Mr. Cuomo’s doubling disapproval number, likely due to the controversial gun control issue. Indeed, while only 34 percent of New Yorkers said the new legislation went “too far,” 59 percent of the state’s Republicans begged to differ. Mr. Cuomo’s GOP approval fell from an astounding 68 – 18 percent on December 12–just two days before the Newtown massacre–to 44 – 43 today.
“Is Gov. Cuomo’s honeymoon with Republicans over, or is this just a spat that can be patched up in the months ahead?” Maurice Carroll, the polling firm’s director, asked in the press release announcing the new numbers. “Cuomo lost some Republican support after the 2011 same-sex marriage bill, but he got it back.”
Despite Mr. Cuomo’s hit among Republicans, Mr. Caroll argued the governor’s overall support is far from shabby.
“With approval ratings that consistently topped 70 percent, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the political capital to spend when he set out to pass the toughest gun control laws in the nation,” the pollster said. “It is possible that the gun law cost him some of that political capital, but a 2-1 job approval rating still makes him the envy of most governors.”
For his part, Mr. Cuomo predicted “anxiety” among gun-owners will go away and some of them will realize that the state’s new gun laws are not as draconian as they feared.
“There’s also I would say a fair level of confusion if not anxiety,” he explained yesterday. “‘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.”