Then, there were two. Rick Lazio announced earlier this week that he was dropping out of the New York State gubernatorial race. How does the contest stack up when Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Carl Paladino go head-to-head?
Cuomo has a 15 percentage point lead over Paladino. 53% of likely voters in New York say they will support Cuomo while 38% report they will back Paladino. One percent backs someone else, and 8% are undecided. When Marist asked this question last week, prior to Lazio’s withdrawal from the race, 52% of likely voters backed Cuomo, 33% tossed their support behind Paladino, and 9% thought they would cast their ballot for Lazio. 6% were undecided.
“Cuomo continues to hold a double-digit lead, but the numbers have shifted somewhat following Lazio’s withdrawal from the race,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Without Lazio on the Conservative Party line, Paladino is more competitive in the New York City suburbs and among non-enrolled voters.”
Not surprisingly, 79% of likely Democratic voters believe they will cast their ballot for Cuomo. However, a notable proportion of likely Republican voters — 27% — also report they will support him. 43% of non-enrolled voters plan to cast their ballot for Cuomo. While the support Cuomo receives from likely Democratic voters is relatively unchanged since Marist’s previous survey, there has been a slight bump in the proportion of likely Republican voters from whom Cuomo receives support. Last week, 81% of likely Democratic voters reported they will vote for Cuomo while 19% of likely Republican voters said the same. 44% of likely voters not enrolled in any party backed Cuomo at that time.
67% of likely Republican voters plan to back Paladino compared with 14% of likely Democratic voters. 45% of non-enrolled voters who are likely to vote on Election Day toss their support behind Paladino an increase from Marist’s previous survey. In last week’s Marist Poll, Paladino garnered the support of 63% of likely Republican voters, 11% of likely Democratic voters, and 33% of likely voters not enrolled in any party.
Paladino is the candidate of choice for 77% of likely voters who support the Tea Party. 16% back Cuomo. Two percent say they are supporting someone else, and 4% are undecided. In Marist’s previous survey, 69% said they supported Paladino, and 13% were pulling for Cuomo. Lazio, who was still in the race at that time, received 14%. 4% were undecided.
Cuomo’s support remains strongest in New York City. 70% of likely voters in this region say they will cast their ballot for Cuomo while 18% report they will vote for Paladino. 10% are undecided. Cuomo’s lead in the city has changed little since last week. At that time, 65% of likely city voters said they backed him while 23% trumpeted Paladino. Then-candidate Lazio garnered 6%. An additional 6% were undecided.
With Lazio’s departure from the race, the New York City suburbs become more competitive. 49% of likely voters in the suburbs toss their support behind Cuomo while 43% believe they will vote for Paladino. 7% are undecided. Last week, a majority of likely voters in the suburbs — 52% — said they would support Cuomo while Paladino netted 30%. Before his withdrawal, Lazio took 16% of the likely suburban vote. 3% were undecided.
Cuomo and Paladino are neck and neck upstate. Cuomo receives 46% of likely upstate New York voters while Paladino receives 47%. 7% are undecided. In Marist’s previous statewide poll, Cuomo and Paladino each received 43%. Then-candidate Lazio garnered 7%. An additional 7% were undecided.
Among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Cuomo has a 16 percentage point lead. 56% report they will vote for Democrat Cuomo while 40% say they will vote for Republican Paladino. 4% are still undecided. Last week, 53% believed they would vote for Cuomo while 34% backed Paladino. Lazio took 10%, and 3% were undecided.
Looking at the overall electorate, 56% of registered voters plan to cast their ballot for Cuomo while 34% say the same about Paladino. 10% are undecided. In Marist’s previous survey, 55% of registered voters statewide said they would back Cuomo while 29% said they would pick Paladino. Lazio received the support of 10%, and just 6% were undecided.
Candidates Receive Firm Backing from Majority of Likely Voters
63% of likely voters strongly support their choice of candidate while 28% say they somewhat support him. 8% believe they might vote differently on Election Day. One percent is unsure. In Marist’s previous survey, nearly six in ten — 59% — likely voters reported firmly supporting their candidate, 28% said they somewhat backed him, and 12% thought they might vote differently. One percent were unsure.
67% of likely voters who are Cuomo backers say they are firmly in his camp. An additional 28% are somewhat behind him, and 5% might vote differently on Election Day. In Marist’s previous survey, 64% of Cuomo’s backers who are likely to vote strongly supported him, 25% were somewhat with him, and 10% thought they might waver in their support.
Nearly six in ten likely voters who support Paladino — 59% — strongly pledge their allegiance to their candidate. 29% somewhat support him while 11% could change their minds and vote for someone else. In Marist’s previous survey, 61% firmly backed Paladino, 32% somewhat supported him, and 7% said they might cast their ballot differently.
For or Against Candidate of Choice?
Nearly six in ten likely voters — 58% — report they are voting for their candidate because of him while 38% say they have chosen their candidate because they are against his opponent. 4% are unsure. In Marist’s previous survey, prior to Rick Lazio’s withdrawal from the race, 66% said they were for their chosen candidate while 32% reported they were against his opponents. 2% were unsure.
Almost seven in ten likely voters — 68% — who support Cuomo plan to do so because they are for him. 29%, though, are supporting him because they are against Paladino. 3% are unsure. Last week, 72% of likely voters who support Cuomo were behind him because they are for their candidate while 26% were supporting him because they were against Paladino and Lazio.
When compared with Cuomo supporters who mostly back their candidate because they are for him, fewer likely voters who are behind Paladino share that reasoning. 45% of Paladino backers plan to cast their ballot for candidate Paladino while 51% plan to vote for Paladino because they are against Cuomo. 4% are unsure. In Marist’s previous survey, 58% were voting for Paladino while 39% supported him because they didn’t want Cuomo or Lazio to win. 3% were unsure.
More Than One-third Express High Level of Enthusiasm for November’s Elections
When thinking about November’s elections, 35% of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about casting their ballot. Last week, a similar proportion — 38% — reported a high level of enthusiasm.
About one-third of the national electorate — 33% — says they are very enthusiastic.
The state’s GOP remains more enthusiastic than Democrats in New York although the gap has narrowed. 44% of registered Republican voters are very enthusiastic while 33% of Democratic voters profess the same sentiment. 27% of non-enrolled voters are very enthusiastic about voting in this November’s elections.
In Marist’s previous survey, a majority of registered Republican voters — 51% — were very enthusiastic. 34% of Democratic voters and 31% of non-enrolled voters shared this degree of enthusiasm.
Cuomo Favorable Among Six in Ten Voters
Among registered voters statewide, 60% have a favorable impression of Andrew Cuomo while 31% have an unfavorable view of him. 9% are unsure.
77% of registered Democrats view Cuomo favorably. However, a notable proportion of Republican voters — 46% — have a positive impression of Cuomo. A majority of non-enrolled voters — 55% — also share this impression.
Nearly Half View Paladino Unfavorably
48% of registered voters say they have an unfavorable impression of Carl Paladino while 34% view him favorably. 18% are unsure.
While 57% of registered Republicans perceive Carl Paladino positively, nearly three in ten — 29% — do not hold him in high esteem. 14% are unsure. 44% of non-enrolled voters have a negative impression of the Republican candidate for governor while 33% have a positive image of him. 23% of non-enrolled voters are unsure. 67% of Democrats have an unfavorable impression of Paladino, and 19% have a favorable one. 14% of Democrats are unsure.
“Neither Cuomo nor Paladino is particularly shy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “I suspect we’ll be hearing a great deal more from and about the candidates as the campaign heats up.”
“Turn This State Around,” Say 79% of Voters
Most registered voters statewide — 79%– believe New York State is moving in the wrong direction while just 16% think it is on the right path. 5% are unsure.
Last week, 73% reported the state needed to be re-directed while 24% thought it was moving in the right direction. 3% were unsure.
Cuomo Approval Rating at 52%
A majority of registered voters in New York State — 52% — approve of the job Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is doing in office. This includes 12% who say he is doing an excellent job and 40% who report he is doing a good one. 29% rate his job performance as fair while just 11% think he is performing poorly. 8% are unsure.
Cuomo’s approval rating continues to decline. Last week, 56% of registered voters told The Marist Poll they thought Cuomo deserved high marks while 29% gave him a grade of “fair.” 13% said he had fallen short while just 2% were unsure.
43% Approval Rating for Obama in NYS
43% of registered voters statewide think President Barack Obama is doing either an excellent or good job in office. Included here are 13% who think the president is doing an excellent job and 30% who say he is doing a good one. 27% rate the president as fair while 29% think he is doing a poor job. One percent is unsure.
President Obama’s approval rating last week was 47%. Included here were 16% who said he was doing an excellent job and 31% who described his efforts as good. 22% called his performance fair, and 31% said the president was doing a poor job in office.
NYS Voters Divide About U.S. Economy
Nearly half of registered New York voters — 49% — believe that, when thinking about the U.S. economy, the worst is behind us while 47% say the worst is yet to come. 4% are unsure. When Marist asked this question last week, 53% reported the worst of America’s economic problems are behind us while 43% said the worst is yet to come. 4% were unsure.
In the most recent national Marist Poll, 53% believed the worst is yet to come while 43% thought the worst of the nation’s economic problems are still ahead. 4% were unsure.
Lee Miringoff discusses Paladino’s chances against Cuomo: