The Moreland Commission may be all over the headlines — and New York voters may rank corruption as a “very serious” problem — but the growing controversy over whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo improperly interfered with the panel doesn’t seem to be resonating with voters.
A new Siena College Poll found that 67 percent of voters said they were not familiar with the Moreland Commission, with just 32 percent reporting they were familiar with what has grown into the state’s biggest political story of the summer.
Asked if they agreed with Mr. Cuomo’s assertion that the commission, which he shut down earlier than expected in April, was an “overwhelming success,” 70 percent said they didn’t have enough information to decide.
And though 86 percent of voters think corruption is a very serious or somewhat serious problem in state government, they don’t seem to be following the fall-out from the governor’s reported interference with the commission: 64 percent said they had heard not very much or nothing at all about U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into Mr. Cuomo’s actions.
“Albany insiders and political junkies are certainly talking lots about Moreland, Bharara, investigations, and the like, but most New York voters are spending their summer not following any of that news,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “Voters see corruption as a serious problem but not one they pay a lot of attention to.”
While GOP candidate Rob Astorino has sought to capitalize on the Moreland story, he has only slightly chipped away at Mr. Cuomo’s massive lead. Voters still prefer Mr. Cuomo by a 32-point margin, down slightly from the incumbent’s 37-point lead last month. Mr. Astorino received the support of 26 percent of the voters polled, his best performance to date.
And asked who they trust to fight corruption more, Mr. Cuomo leads Mr. Astorino, 29 percent to 14 percent — though 49 percent of voters say they don’t trust either on the issue.
Still, though they report being uninformed on the issue, given a choice between the governor’s account of the Moreland Commission and newspaper reports on it, voters believe the papers two-to-one, 49 percent to 25 percent, according to the poll.
The voters who say they haven’t followed the Moreland Commission story are in the company of some high-ranking city politicos — including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who insisted to reporters last month he couldn’t weigh in on the scandal because he was following it.