New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is a strong, early favorite to win re-election as he heads into 2014. When matched against several potential Republican gubernatorial candidates, Cuomo leads each of them by at least 40 percentage points.
“Right now, Governor Cuomo is in good shape to win a second term. None of Governor Cuomo’s likely challengers are in striking distance,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, voters think any plans Cuomo might have for 2016 need to take a backseat until Hillary Clinton declares her intentions.”
If the 2014 election for New York State Governor were held today, here is how Governor Cuomo would fare among registered voters in New York State:
- Against Steve McLaughlin, Cuomo would garner 64% while McLaughlin would receive 24%. 12% are undecided.
- 65% would back Cuomo compared with 23% for Rob Astorino. 12% are undecided.
- If Cuomo were to face off in a rematch against Carl Paladino, Cuomo — 67% — would defeat Paladino — 24% — by 43 percentage points. Nine percent are undecided.
- 70% of registered voters would support Cuomo in a contest against Donald Trump — 24%. Seven percent are undecided.
A majority of registered voters in New York State — 52% — approves of the job the governor is doing. This includes 8% of voters who think Cuomo is doing an excellent job and 44% who describe Cuomo’s job performance as good. 31% give Cuomo fair marks while 13% report he is performing poorly. Three percent are unsure.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question in April, 54% of registered voters approved of how Mr. Cuomo was performing in office. 27% rated his job as fair while 14% believed his performance was subpar. Five percent, at that time, were unsure.
- Cuomo’s approval rating is strong among his base. 63% of Democrats statewide think well of how Cuomo is doing his job. This compares with 66% in April.
- Among Republicans, 39% approve of Cuomo’s job performance. This is little changed from the spring when 37% had this view.
- Cuomo’s approval rating has changed little among non-enrolled voters. 48% of these voters approve of Cuomo’s job performance compared with 46% in April.
- New York voters’ rating of Cuomo has changed little throughout the state.
- In New York City, 56% of voters give Cuomo high marks. A similar 58% had this opinion in the previous Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll.
- In the suburbs of New York City, 57% applaud Cuomo’s job performance. Here, too, Cuomo’s approval rating is status quo. 59% of suburban voters thought this way in April.
- A plurality of upstate voters — 47% — approve of how Governor Cuomo is doing his job. This is comparable to the 48% in this region who said the same in the spring.
Cuomo also continues to be well-liked in New York State. Two-thirds of registered voters — 66% — have a favorable view of the governor. 28% have an unfavorable impression of him, and 6% have either never heard of Cuomo or are unsure how to rate him. In April, similar proportions of registered voters shared these views. 65% had a positive view of Cuomo. 27% had an unfavorable one, and 8% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
Cuomo Viewed as Making Positive Mark on Albany and Focused on Empire State
About six in ten registered voters in New York State — 61% — think Cuomo is changing the way things in Albany work for the better. 35% do not think the governor is improving Albany, and 4% are unsure. In April, 58% of voters thought Governor Cuomo was positively changing state government. 33% had the opposite view, and 9% were unsure.
Is Cuomo paying too much attention to national politics and not enough attention to the Empire State? 59% do not think he is focused on the national agenda while 35% say he is. Six percent are unsure. In the spring, 51% of voters believed Cuomo’s attention was focused on New York while 40% thought he was too concerned with national politics. Nine percent, at that time, were unsure.
What are voters’ perceptions of Cuomo’s political ideology? 45% say he is a moderate. 35% think he is a liberal while 11% believe he is a conservative. Nine percent are unsure. In The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist’s previous survey, 38% described Cuomo as a moderate. 34% said he was a liberal, and 13% reported he was conservative. 15%, then, were unsure.
2016: Cuomo Trails Clinton by 50 Points Among Dems, but Both Lead Christie
If Cuomo were to turn to the national stage and run for president of the United States in 2016, what would his electoral chances look like? In this hypothetical contest for the Democratic nomination, among New York State registered Democrats, Cuomo comes in a very distant second behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton leads all of her potential Democratic opponents by more than four to one in New York.
64% of registered Democrats statewide support Clinton compared with 14% for Andrew Cuomo. Eight percent back Vice President Joe Biden while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren garners 6%. Three percent support Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and 5% are undecided.
On the Republican side, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads a crowded GOP primary field. Among registered Republicans in New York State, Christie has the backing of 40%. 10% are for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul while the same proportion — 10% — supports Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the support of 8% compared with 5% for Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker each garners 3%. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has the backing of 2%. An additional 2% support former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. 15% are undecided.
However, when matched against Cuomo or Clinton in the general election contest, Christie does not fare as well in this very blue state. Cuomo leads Christie, 51% to 44%, among New York’s registered voters. Five percent are undecided. Clinton has a wider lead over Christie. 57% of registered voters in New York State support Clinton compared with 39% for Christie. Four percent are undecided.
Voters Don’t Blame Cuomo for State’s Sluggish Economy
67% of registered voters think Governor Cuomo inherited the state’s economic woes while 27% say the condition of the economy is a result of his policies. Five percent are unsure. When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist last reported this question, 74% thought Cuomo inherited New York’s economic slump while 17% said the state’s economic conditions are mostly a result of his own policies. Nine percent were unsure.
Looking at how New York’s economy is performing, a slim majority of registered voters in New York — 51% — say it has stayed about the same. This compares with 20% who report it has gotten better, and 29% who say it has gotten worse. In April, nearly identical proportions shared these views. 51% thought New York’s economy was steady state. 21% said it was getting better, and 29% believed it was getting worse.
On the personal side, 52% of New York voters believe their personal family finances will not change in the coming year. 31% think they will get better while 17% believe they will get worse. In March, 56% said their money matters would be steady state. 25% thought they would improve while 19% said they would decline.
Opposition to Hydrofracking Grows
On the issue of hydrofracking, 47% of adults in New York oppose hydrofracking at the Marcellus Shale to extract natural gas. 37% support this technique, and 16% are unsure. When this question was last reported in March, 39% opposed hydrofracking while 40% supported it. 21%, at that time, were unsure.
The views of registered voters mirror those of New Yorkers overall. 49% are against using hydrofracking while 39% support it. 12% are unsure. In March, voters divided. 41% opposed hydrofracking, and 40% supported it. One in five — 20% — was unsure.
State Senate and Assembly Approval Ratings Still in the Basement
While a majority of voters approve of Governor Cuomo’s job performance, the New York State Senate and Assembly do not fare as well. Only 27% of registered voters in New York State approve of the job the Senate is doing. Included here are 2% who say they are doing an excellent job and 25% who think they are doing a good one. 47% rate the legislative body’s performance as fair. 22% report they are doing a poor job, and 4% have either never heard of the Senate or are unsure how to rate it.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last released this question in April, 29% gave the Senate high marks. 41% thought its performance was average, and 26% said it fell short. Four percent, at that time, either never heard of it or were unsure how to rate it.
When it comes to the New York State Assembly, 26% think it is doing either an excellent — 2% — or good — 24% — job in office. 47% rate this legislative body’s performance as fair while 23% report its job is subpar. Four percent are unsure.
In that previous survey, 27% of voters thought highly of how the Assembly was performing its job. 42% gave it mediocre marks while 24% said it was performing poorly. Six percent were unsure.
Half Say State Moving in Right Direction
50% of registered voters think New York State is traveling on the right course. 45%, however, believe it is moving in the wrong direction, and 5% are unsure. In April, 53% of voters said the Empire State was on the right course. 41% believed it was off track. Six percent, at that time, were unsure.
Steady State for Schumer and Gillibrand
A majority of voters continue to give Chuck Schumer a positive rating for his performance as senator. 56% of registered voters in New York State approve of how Schumer is doing his job. This includes 17% who say Schumer is doing an excellent job and 39% who think he is doing a good one. 26% rate Schumer’s performance in office as fair while 15% say he is doing a poor job. Four percent have either never heard of Schumer or are unsure how to rate him.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question in April, 58% praised Schumer. 24% thought he did an average job, and 13% said he fell short. Six percent, at that time, had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
There has also been little change in the perception of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s job performance. 47% think Gillibrand is doing either an excellent — 13% — or good — 34% — job. 30% give Gillibrand fair marks while 12% say she is performing poorly in her post. 12% have either never heard of her or were unsure how to rate her.
In April, 48% approved of Gillibrand’s job performance. 27% gave her average grades while 9% said she performed poorly. 17% had either never heard of her or were unsure how to rate her.
Obama Approval Rating at Lowest Point in New York State
Four in ten registered voters — 40% — approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office. This is Obama’s lowest approval rating in New York since taking office. Included in Mr. Obama’s approval rating are 11% who think he is doing an excellent job and 29% who believe he is doing a good one. 25% give him fair marks while 36% rate the president’s job performance as poor. Less than 1% has either never heard of Obama or are unsure how to rate him.
The president’s approval rating has plummeted. In April, 52% gave the president high marks. 22% thought his job performance was average while 26% said he fell short. One percent, at that time, had either never heard of Obama or was unsure how to rate him.