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5/4: Paterson Approval Rating: Scraping Bottom?


5/4: Paterson Approval Rating: Scraping Bottom?

How low can New York Governor David Paterson’s job approval rating go? Based on the latest Marist Poll numbers, it can still go lower, but not by much! Not quite one-fifth of New York registered voters statewide — 19% — report that Governor David Paterson is doing either an excellent or good job in office. That is a seven percentage point drop since The Marist Poll last asked this question in its March 2009 survey. In fact, voters are so dissatisfied with the governor’s performance that a majority — 51% — say they would prefer his sex scandal-plagued predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, be in office than he. On both questions, Paterson doesn’t even receive backing from a majority of voters in his own party. Just 22% of Democrats think he is doing well as governor, and half say, “Resurrect Spitzer!”

Table: Paterson’s Approval Rating
Table: Rather Have as Governor


Governor Paterson addresses the 100 Black Men dinner at the New York Hilton (Courtesy New York State).

Paterson’s Image Takes a Hit
Is there a silver lining for Governor Paterson? Well, 66% of registered voters across the state believe he is working hard as governor. However, that, too, is a drop from Marist’s March 2009 poll when 77% of the state’s electorate thought he was toiling away for New York. But, that’s where the praise for Paterson ends. 66% of voters say he does not have what it takes to lead the state while just 28% think he is a good leader. Paterson fares a little better on whether he understands the problems facing the state, but he still does not receive majority support from voters. In fact, with 48% reporting that the governor just doesn’t get the critical issues facing New York and 47% saying he does, the electorate is divided.

Looking at one of the most pressing problems in New York State – the economic crisis – 68% of the electorate disapproves of how Paterson is handling the situation, and 23% approve. Voters also do not believe Governor Paterson is a man for all New Yorkers. Nearly six in ten voters — 58% — report he does not represent all regions of the state while 34% think he does. And, when you zoom into Albany, a whopping 71% believe the governor is not changing daily, political operations for the better. David Paterson isn’t even viewed by a majority of the electorate as a governor who cares about the average person. 51% think he is not in tune with the needs of people like them compared with 42% who think the opposite is true. On all of these questions, public opinion was far more positive for Governor Paterson in The Marist Poll’s March 2009 survey.

There is a new issue on Governor Paterson’s plate – the swine flu outbreak. How do voters think he is handling this health concern? 46% approve of his management, and 18% disapprove. 36% are unsure.

Table: Paterson is Working Hard As Governor
Table: Paterson is a Good Leader for NYS
Table: Paterson Understands the Problems Facing NYS
Table: Paterson Handling Economic Crisis
Table: Paterson Represents All Regions of the State
Table: Paterson Is Changing the Way Things Work In Albany for the Better
Table: Paterson Cares About People Like You
Table: Paterson Handling Swine Flu Outbreak

Turn This Ship Around: Nearly Seven In Ten Think NYS Moving In Wrong Direction

Registered voters in New York State are pessimistic about the direction of the state. 67% report the state is moving along the wrong path while 27% say the Empire State is right on track. These findings are comparable to those in Marist’s March 2009 survey.

Table: NYS Direction Table

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Stories:

5/4: Dismal Outlook for Paterson in 2010 Election

5/4: Gillibrand Needs to Make Positive Inroads with NY Electorate

5/4: Schumer’s Job Approval Rating: Rock Solid?

5/4: Cuomo: Top-Rated NY Politician

5/4: DiNapoli Holds Firm…36% Unsure How to Rate Him

5/4: Obama…On a Roll With New York Voters

The Marist Poll’s Lee Miringoff says Paterson might have to do something dramatic to reverse his plummeting popularity:

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  4. JDS

    April 29, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Get David Paterson out of the office as Governor of the State of New York before he destorys this wonderful State of New York and the people who live here.

  5. Mark

    October 7, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    Seriously, Pattterson is the worst thing that has happened to this state besides our horrible wether. He keeps nickel and diming us and saying ‘what? Its only 20 bucks?’ well do that a few hundred times and 20 turns into alot more. Why should the ppl pay for the states failure? The system isnt working. If it was up to me id say lets start boycotting the state taxes and doing something even if it leads to violence.

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  8. Pingback: The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room » Poll: New Yorkers prefer Spitzer to Paterson

  9. Michael

    June 2, 2009 at 6:11 PM

    cant understand why some people cant get the clear picture on some issues, seriously

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  11. Pingback: Moe Lane » Andrew Cuomo still not running for NY Governor.

  12. Pingback: Paterson Approval Rating: Scraping Bottom? - Political Forum

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  15. Dee

    May 5, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    In case no one has noticed, the MEDIA has been relentless in its unfair trashing of Governor Paterson, day after day in a disingenuous attempt to damage his credibility and SWAY PUBLIC OPINION. Hopefully, a lot of voters will prove too intelligent to buy into this. Paterson is doing a great job, considering that he inherited the role of Governor at the worst time in the state’s history! He continues to serve admirably, despite repeated attacks from his detreactors.

    Truth is, Paterson’s excellent grasp of constituent issues, supurb memory and extraoadinary intellectual prowess–even without 20/20 vision– leaves a lot of New Yorkers seething with resentment. Why? Ask a psychotherapist, but if you ask me, it’s the collective backlash stemming from an arrogant, self- aggrandizing society, recklessly seeking to “project” their own sense of failure and worthlessness onto those who have been left to clean up their mess. All those formerly smug fat cats, hot shot politcal hunchos and “Masters of the Universe” are now left defeated, angry and embarassed by the discombobulated state of affairs in New York. Their beloved “Sheriff of Wall Street” was forced to leave office in disgrace due to a bombshell sex scandal, their financial geniuses engineered the collapse of Wall Street, and the deterioration of the national economy as a whole, is far too much for them to endure without “creating” plausible scapegoats. Enter: Paterson.

    Consider this, just as the opinions of jurors can be prejudiced and compromised by press stories, so can that of voters. Governor Paterson’s polling numbers would look a whole lot different if the particpants in the Marist Poll were sequestered from biased and negative news stories by a disingenuous press. If anything, we need to be honest and direct our displeasure at those who for years created this mess–not those who are diligently trying to clean it up.

  16. Anthony Senerchia

    May 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    Patterson is an idiot!!! First thing to cut is education?? Do you ever see a reduction in the already overinflated NYS Police. do we really need so many overpaid Troopers looking to make a name for themselves at ever corner. How much of the tax dollars pay this small army. Well, if he keeps cutting education, we will have a need for all these over paid Troopers.
    Patterson, look into cutting some of this Civil Service Waste.

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  18. dave

    May 5, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    It seems to me that the people of New York are speaking loud and clear. WE DON’T LIKE THIS GUY!!!!!!!!!! We are already one of the heaviest taxed states, and you have this guy running around jacking every thing up through the roof. I have given all the blood I can give. Keep raising the taxes and soon there will be nobody left to tax. How can a representative of the people only be keeping 19% of those people happy, and still keep his job. I feel that if an approval rating for an elected position hits less than 40%, a new election should be held. That would make this guy go packing and would have saved the image of the United States when baby Bush was pretending to be in control. 19% seriously? How can Paterson even get out of bed in the morning? I wish he would stay in bed, that would prevent him from making more STUPID decisions. GREED CORRUPTION LIES

  19. Frank

    May 5, 2009 at 4:21 AM

    How in God’s name can any polling company state that 19% of all voters like or dislike Patterson and then say that 51% would prefer that idiot Spitzer who while going after prostitution was busy using those he went after? when I’ve never been polled nor has anyone I’ve talked to all day and I’m a dj in a night club and offered a free drink to anyone has been polled and it didn’t cost me a dime. I can’t believe that most of America acts and responds according to polls when very few people get polled. I think all polling people should be put out of business. Heck they are already saying that Spector is ahead of the GOP runner in PA and it’s a year and a half away from the election, and believe it or not I know a bunch of people in PA that say there is NO way they will vote for Spector so I think polling should go by the wayside and let people make up their own minds.

  20. Pat Patterson

    May 4, 2009 at 8:59 PM

    People will always admire the ditchdigger hard at work and approve of his enterprise. Unfortunately that all ends when they notice that he is digging with a sieve and in the wrong place.

  21. Rex

    May 4, 2009 at 7:42 PM

    At least he tried to take on the public unions. Pataki tried too, but he was a Republican. As Patterson has shown, even a Democrat can’t make a dent in what is so wrong with this state.

    I think I’ll move to TN when I retire.

  22. Chris

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    I think that it would be interesting to see if New Yorkers prefer David Paterson or Rod Blagojevich. I realize that it wouldn’t realy be a useful study as they are unpopular governors of different states, but I think that it might be interesting to see who is more hated.

  23. troy

    May 4, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    that poll is being read wrong, patersons real poll numbers is 56% if you look at the number of people who rate him at fromexcellent to fair which most people polled say. a 56% rating from fair to excellent is great with the state going through these tough economic times.

    paterson 2012.

  24. fsteele

    May 4, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    Paterson is doing well, especially in standing up to the media (eg about Caroline Kennedy). Preferring the more experienced Spitzer is not a condemnation of Paterson.

    A sex scandal is not a disqualification for office. Bill Clinton left office with a 67% approval rating — which rose during the Impeachment.

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