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2/4: Any Way You Crunch the Numbers…

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2/4: Any Way You Crunch the Numbers…

Andrew Cuomo is off to a good start as New York’s Governor.  According to the latest Marist Poll, he has a 71% favorability rating and his job performance stands at 48%.  This translates into most New York voters telling us they like Cuomo and nearly half think, after just one month in office, that he’s doing an excellent or good job.

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Andrew Cuomo’s numbers compare well to Marist’s first poll on former Governors Pataki, Spitzer, and Paterson.   Only former Governor Mario Cuomo gives the current Governor Cuomo a run for his money.

Like father, like son.  Despite each one’s popularity, there is a big difference in approach between Cuomo I and Cuomo II.  Mario Cuomo used to wax eloquent about the poetry of running and the prose of governing.  By bridging the gap between his campaign and his administration, Andrew Cuomo made the campaign an investment in political capital that will pay dividends as governor.  For Andrew Cuomo, it’s all prose…. Well, with maybe just a touch of budget passion.

And, so far, it’s paying off.  Although a majority of New York voters still think the state is headed in the wrong direction, the number who thinks it’s on track in the latest Marist Poll has grown from 18% in October to 42%.  Cuomo scores high on leadership, representing all regions of the state, and caring about New Yorkers.  Perhaps, most significantly, a majority thinks he’s fulfilling campaign promises.

The real test for Governor Cuomo will be in the bruising budget battle to come.  58% express confidence in Cuomo’s ability to address the budget.  68% are not confident the state legislature can do the same.

Included in Cuomo’s current approval rating is 19% who are “unsure” about his job performance.   Does he win these “it’s too early to tell’ voters over in the next few months by resolving the fiscal mess?  His political future and, more importantly, New York’s future will depend upon the answer.  To be continued.

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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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