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11/9: Test for Cuomo Could Come Down to the Economy

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11/9: Test for Cuomo Could Come Down to the Economy

Just how long is Governor Cuomo’s  honeymoon going to last?  One year after being elected governor, Andrew Cuomo is receiving a strong showing from New Yorkers.  What is particularly noteworthy is that his appeal blurs traditional party and regional divisions.  He is attracting majority support for his job performance from Democrats, independents, and even Republicans.  The story is pretty much the same when it comes to New York City and suburban voters, and the upstate electorate.  This is occurring at a time when there is a strong anti-government, anti-incumbent, and anti-institutional sentiment in our politics.

caricature of Lee MiringoffCuomo is navigating successfully against a strong current.  Three or of four voters think he is a strong leader for New York.  Nearly two-thirds of the electorate think he is fulfilling campaign promises and changing Albany for the better.  Most telling, perhaps, is at a time when the edges of our political spectrum from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street are the focus of the press and the pundits, Cuomo has carved out a favorable position as a political moderate and as supporter of the middle class.

The test for Cuomo, of course, will come down the road, and it is likely to occur over the state of the economy.  Nearly four out of every five voters think the state is in an economic recession.  A majority believes that when it comes to the economy, the worst is yet to come.  73% say the state is not affordable, and there has been a decline in the number who think their family finances are likely to improve in the coming year.  People are worried and expect changes.

So, Governor Cuomo is off to a good start in the realm of public opinion.  The honeymoon extends from Long Island to Niagara Falls.  But, he still faces the test of time.

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Lee M. Miringoff is the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. Follow Lee on Twitter at @LeeMiringoff.

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