New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s re-election prospects are promising. Cuomo outdistances each of his potential GOP rivals by at least 40 percentage points. Cuomo also remains well-liked by most registered voters despite the lowest job approval rating the governor has received since taking office in 2011. So, what accounts for the sharp drop in Cuomo’s job performance rating? The view of many voters that the state’s economy is still struggling plays a role.
“Governor Cuomo’s opponents face an uphill fight to unseat him this November,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Voters are comfortable with Cuomo but he still needs to convince many that the economy is turning around.”
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll
Looking ahead to this November’s gubernatorial election, Cuomo maintains a robust lead over his potential Republican challengers. Among registered voters in New York State, here is how these hypothetical contests stand:
- Cuomo — 65% — outpaces Rob Astorino — 25% — by 40 percentage points. One in ten voters in New York State — 10% — is undecided. Cuomo — 65% — had a similar advantage against Astorino — 23% — when NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist last reported this question last November. At that time, 12% of voters were undecided.
- Against Carl Paladino, Cuomo has the support of nearly seven in ten voters — 68%. This compares with 25% for Paladino. Eight percent are undecided. Last fall, 67% backed Cuomo while 24% were for Paladino. Nine percent, then, were undecided.
- Cuomo — 70% — trounces Donald Trump — 26% — by 44 percentage points. Five percent are undecided. In that previous survey, 70% supported Cuomo compared with 24% for Trump. Seven percent were undecided.
Cuomo’s re-election chances stand firm despite a steep decline in his job approval rating. 42% of registered voters statewide approve of how Cuomo is doing his job. This includes 7% who think he is doing an excellent job and 35% who believe he is doing a good one. 38% rate Cuomo’s job performance as fair, and nearly one in five voters — 18% — calls it poor. Three percent are unsure.
In November, 52% of voters gave Cuomo high marks. Included here were 8% who thought Cuomo was doing an excellent job and 44% who said he was doing a good one. 31%, at that time, thought the governor was doing an average job while 13% reported he was doing a poor one. Three percent were unsure.
Regardless of party, region, or race, there has been a drop in Cuomo’s approval rating. However, the largest change has occurred among Latino and African American voters.
- Among registered voters who are Latino, 41% approve of how Cuomo is doing his job. This compares with 62% who had this view in NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s previous survey.
- 42% of African American voters, compared with 57% in the fall, think well of how Cuomo is performing as governor.
- Among white voters, 44% approve of Cuomo’s job performance. This compares with 49% in November.
- 51% of Democrats give Cuomo high marks while 63% did so in that previous survey.
- Among Republicans, 33% approve of Cuomo’s job performance. 39% shared this view in November.
- 34% of non-enrolled voters give Cuomo high marks while nearly half — 48% — did so in the fall.
- 50% of voters in New York City approve of Cuomo’s job performance. This compares with 56% in NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s previous survey.
- In the suburbs of New York City, 45% think well of how Cuomo is doing his job while 57% said the same in November.
- 35% of upstate voters give Cuomo high marks while 47% had this opinion in that previous survey.
Voters’ views of the recession have impacted Cuomo’s job approval rating. A slim majority of those who think the Empire State is not in a recession — 51% — think Cuomo is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This compares with only 37% of voters who say New York is in a recession.
How many voters statewide think New York is in a recession? Close to two-thirds — 65% — believe the state is under the cloud of a recession. 34% say we are not in an economic slump, and 1% is unsure. There has been an increase in the proportion of voters who think New York is in a recession. When this question was last reported in NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s survey last April, 58% said the state was in a recession. 39% thought New York was not, and 3% were unsure.
While Cuomo’s approval rating has fallen, his favorability remains strong. 63% of voters have a positive view of the governor while 33% have a negative impression of him. Four percent have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. This is little changed from November when 66% said they liked the governor. 28% reported they disliked him, and 6% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
“Governor Cuomo is bolstered by a high favorability rating,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “His lower job performance score is not costing him at the ballot box.”
Voters Weigh In on Potential GOP Hopefuls
Are Cuomo’s potential challengers viewed positively by voters? 61% of voters have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump. 36% think well of him, and 4% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Looking at Carl Paladino, 30% like him while 40% have a lesser opinion of him. Three in ten voters — 30% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. Rob Astorino is little known to a plurality of voters. While 25% think well of him and 29% have a negative impression of Astorino, 46% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
When looking at Republicans statewide, Trump has the highest favorable rating. 60% of Republican voters like Trump while 37% do not. Three percent have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. When it comes to Paladino, there is little consensus among Republicans. 38% think highly of him while 31% do not. 32% have either never heard of Paladino or are unsure how to rate him. Astorino is not well known among Republicans. 34% have a positive view of him while 17% have a negative opinion of him. However, nearly half of Republicans — 49% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
While a majority of voters think Governor Cuomo is improving Albany for the better, fewer say he is having a positive impact on the state, overall.
56% of New York voters think Cuomo is changing the way things work in Albany for the better. This compares with 40% who disagree with that opinion. Three percent are unsure. In November, 61% thought Cuomo was making positive inroads in Albany while 35% did not think Cuomo was changing it for the better. Four percent, at that time, were unsure.
However, when it comes to the impact Cuomo is having on New York State, 45% say he is improving it. 23% report Cuomo is changing it for the worse, and 29% think he is not having any effect on the Empire State. Three percent are unsure.
What do voters think of Cuomo’s political ideology?
36% call him a liberal. 46% say he is a moderate, and 12% describe him as a conservative. Six percent are unsure. There has been little change on this question since November when 35% thought the governor was liberal. 45% believed he was a moderate, and 11% said he was conservative. Nine percent were unsure.
50% of New York voters think the state is moving in the right direction. However, 47% say it is moving in the wrong one. Three percent are unsure. In NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist’s previous survey, 50% thought the state was on course. 45% reported it had fallen off the track, and 5% were unsure.
Status Quo for Schumer and Gillibrand
53% of registered voters believe Senator Chuck Schumer is doing either an excellent — 15% — or good — 38% — job in office. 30% describe his performance as fair while 14% believe he is doing a poor job. Three percent have either never heard of Schumer or are unsure how to rate him. Schumer’s approval rating is solid. In the fall, 56% thought highly of how Schumer was doing in the U.S. Senate. 26% rated his performance as average while 15% thought he fell short. Four percent had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
When it comes to Kirsten Gillibrand’s job approval rating, 45% say she is doing either an excellent — 10% — or good — 35% — job in office. 31% say she is doing a fair job while 12% think she is performing poorly. 11% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her. Previously, 47% gave Gillibrand high marks. 30% thought her performance was fair, and 12% said it was lacking. 12% had either never heard of Gillibrand or were unsure how to rate her.