The White House is urging Governor David Paterson not to run for office next year, but what do New York State voters think? 62% say the Obama Administration is wrong to suggest the governor should not run while 27% think Washington is well within its rights to get involved. 11% are unsure. Even a majority — 51% — of Democrats believes the Administration is meddling. 77% of Republicans and 64% of non-enrolled voters agree.
Do voters change their minds if presented with the possibility that Paterson’s candidacy could have a negative impact on other Democrats running for office in New York State? The electorate does not waiver. 60% of registered voters say the White House should not have suggested that Paterson give up his gubernatorial aspirations even if this is the case. 30% of voters, on the other hand, believe this would be a reason for the Obama Administration to speak out.
Not surprisingly, Democrats are more worried about Paterson’s impact on the 2010 Democratic ticket than are Republicans. Still, only 42% of Democrats agree with the White House based on this rationale, and 48% report the White House was incorrect in urging Paterson not to run. Looking across the aisle, 75% of Republicans overwhelmingly believe the Obama Administration overstepped its bounds while 18% think the move was a right one. Non-enrolled voters are more in line with Republicans on this issue. Regardless of the potential impact Paterson’s run may have on other Democratic candidates, 68% report the White House’s action was wrong while 21% think it was right.
Few New York State voters are surprised by the White House’s interest in next year’s New York State elections. Just 25% are surprised while 73% are not.
Paterson: Democratic Liability?…63% Don’t Want Him to Run
Voters divide over whether having Governor Paterson on the ticket in 2010 will hurt other Democratic candidates. 43% agree he will while 41% disagree. 16% are unsure. 48% of Democrats believe Paterson will be detrimental to other candidates while 36% disagree. Republicans move toward the other end of the spectrum with 47% reporting Paterson will not harm other Democratic politicians’ electoral aspirations and 39% saying he will. Non-enrolled voters divide. 43% do not think that Paterson is a drain on the ticket. 39%, however, think he will damage the Democrats’ hopefuls in other races.
There is greater consensus, however, on the question of whether voters want Paterson to run. More than six in ten voters — 63% — do not want Paterson to continue his gubernatorial quest. Just 25% would like to see Paterson make a bid. When Marist asked this question last week, 70% of registered voters thought Paterson should get out of the race while 27% thought he should run.
Democrats and Republicans agree on this question. Nearly two-thirds within each party, including 65% of Democrats, do not think Paterson should run for governor next year.
Paterson’s Approval Rating at New Low
It is obvious this has been a bad political week for Governor Paterson: the White House came out against his gubernatorial campaign and the president, himself, praised the biggest threat to Paterson receiving the Democratic nomination for governor – New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. And, the news for Paterson is about to get even worse. His approval rating is at an all time low. Currently, 17% of voters in New York State report he is doing either an excellent or good job in office while a whopping 44% say he is performing poorly. When Marist last asked this question earlier this month, Paterson’s rating was at 20%. The governor’s approval rating isn’t the only one that has dropped. President Obama has slipped in the eyes of New York State voters but holds onto a slim majority of the electorate in this otherwise blue state.
The Marist Poll’s Lee Miringoff discusses Obama and Paterson’s poll numbers following their flare-up over the New York gubernatorial race:
Miringoff appears on CBS Evening News to discuss the pressure on Paterson to quit: