With less than two weeks until Election Day, Democrat Andrew Cuomo has a substantial lead over Republican Carl Paladino. Among likely voters including early voters and those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Cuomo receives 60% of the vote to Paladino’s 37%. One percent plans to vote for someone else, and 2% are undecided.
When Marist last asked this question in its September 30th survey, 56% of likely voters including those who were undecided yet leaning toward a candidate backed Cuomo, 40% supported Paladino, and 4% were undecided. At the time, 53% of likely voters not including those leaning toward a candidate backed Cuomo, 38% supported Paladino, and 8% were undecided.
“The gap between Cuomo and Paladino has widened as Paladino is increasingly viewed negatively by New York voters,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, “Carl Paladino may have wanted to run for governor in the worst possible way, and judging from these numbers, that may be exactly what he has done.”
Among likely voters including early voters and those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, most Democrats — 90% — support Cuomo while 7% are pulling for Paladino. And, although Paladino receives the support of 65% of likely Republican voters, a notable 31% report they will back Cuomo. Among likely voters who are not enrolled in any party, a majority — 51% — support Cuomo while 45% toss their support behind Paladino.
Looking around the state, Cuomo receives at least majority support in each region. 83% of likely New York City voters back Cuomo while 14% plan to vote for Paladino. In New York City’s suburbs, a majority of likely voters — 57% — report they support Cuomo while 38% say they will vote for Paladino. Upstate, 51% of likely voters plan to cast their ballot for Cuomo while 47% say their choice is Paladino.
Among registered voters including early voters, Cuomo has a 35 percentage point lead. 63% say they support the Democrat while 28% plan to cast their ballot for Republican Paladino. One percent plans to vote for someone else, and 8% are undecided. In Marist’s late September survey, 56% of registered voters supported Cuomo, 34% backed Paladino, and fewer than 1% planned to vote for someone else. 10%, at the time, were undecided.
Strength of Support
67% of likely voters say they strongly support their choice of candidate. 24% somewhat support their pick, and 8% might vote differently on Election Day. One percent is unsure. There has been little change on this question since Marist’s late September survey.
Among likely voters who support Cuomo, 75% strongly support him, 15% somewhat back him, and 9% might change their minds and vote for someone else. One percent is unsure. There has been an increase in the proportion of these voters who say they strongly support Cuomo. Late last month, 67% were firmly in his camp.
Of likely voters who back Paladino, 51% say they will not waver. 39% report they somewhat support him, and 9% might vote differently. One percent is unsure. Fewer Paladino backers report they strongly support him. In Marist’s previous survey, 59% pledged their allegiance to Paladino.
Cuomo Viewed as Fit to Be Governor … Paladino Perceived as Unfit
Three-quarters of registered voters — 75% — believe Andrew Cuomo is fit to be governor while 20% do not think he is fit to hold the office. Five percent are unsure. In Marist’s late September poll conducted for the NY Daily News, 68% of registered voters described Cuomo as fit to be governor.
About six in ten registered voters in the state — 59% — believe Carl Paladino is unfit to be governor while only 29% say he is fit for the position. 12% are unsure. In that previous Daily News/Marist Poll, 47% of registered voters viewed Paladino as unfit to hold the office, and 37% described him as fit to be governor. 16% were unsure.
For Candidate or Against Opponent?
Six in ten likely voters — 60% — plan to vote for their candidate because they are for him while 35% back their pick because they are against his opponent. Five percent are unsure. Little has changed on this question since Marist’s previous statewide survey.
70% of likely voters who are Cuomo supporters say they back him because of him while 26% are behind him because they are against his opponent. Four percent are unsure. Among likely voters who are Paladino supporters, 44% say they support Paladino because of him while half — 50% — back him because they are against the other candidate. Six percent are unsure.
A Tale of Two Favorability Ratings
66% of registered voters have a favorable impression of Andrew Cuomo while 29% do not. Five percent are unsure. There has been a slight increase in the proportion who view Cuomo favorably. In late September, 60% had a positive impression of him.
Voters’ perceptions of Paladino have gotten decidedly worse. Paladino is now viewed unfavorably by 62%. 28% perceive him favorably. 10% are unsure. In Marist’s previous survey, 48% perceived Paladino unfavorably, 34% thought well of him, and 18% were unsure.
Cuomo Approval Rating at 59%
Nearly six in ten registered voters — 59% — approve of the job Andrew Cuomo is doing as attorney general. Included here are 18% who believe he is doing an excellent job and 41% who think he is doing a good one. 25% give Cuomo a fair rating while 11% give him a poor grade. Five percent are unsure.
There has been an increase in Cuomo’s approval rating since late September. At that time, 52% approved of Cuomo’s job performance.
Plurality Very Enthusiastic About Voting
43% of registered voters in New York State report they are very enthusiastic about voting in November’s elections. At the end of September, 35% of registered voters had this degree of enthusiasm.
Republican voters statewide are still more enthusiastic than Democratic voters. 53% of the state’s GOP report a high level of enthusiasm compared with 39% of Democrats. 35% of non-enrolled voters share this degree of enthusiasm. In Marist’s previous poll, 44% of Republicans were very enthusiastic. 33% of Democrats and 27% of non-enrolled voters shared this view.
State Needs a New Compass
74% of registered voters in the state believe New York is moving in the wrong direction while 21% say it is traveling along the right road. Five percent are unsure.
In Marist’s last survey of New York State, 79% thought the state was moving in the wrong direction, 16% believed it was on the right track, and 5% were unsure.
Majority Optimistic About Future of U.S. Economy
When thinking about the future of the U.S. economy, a majority of registered voters in New York State — 55% — believe the worst is behind us. 42%, however, say the worst is yet to come. Three percent are unsure.
Late last month, nearly half — 49% — reported the worst is behind us while 47% said there’s more bad economic news on the horizon. Four percent were unsure.
The Old Regime: Paterson Approval Rating at 19%
19% of registered voters in New York approve of the job Governor David Paterson is doing. Included here are 3% who believe Paterson is doing an excellent job and 16% who think he is doing a good one. 40% rate the governor’s performance as fair, and 37% give Paterson a poor grade. Four percent are unsure.
When Marist last asked about Paterson’s job approval rating in its September 24th survey, the same proportion — 19% — believed Paterson was doing either an excellent or good job in office.
Obama Approval Rating at 45% in NYS
45% of registered voters in New York State approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office. This includes 16% of voters who think he is doing an excellent job and 29% who say he is doing a good one. Fair is the grade given by 22% while 33% rate Obama’s job performance as poor. Fewer than one percent are unsure.
In late September, 43% approved of Obama’s job performance.
With less than two weeks until Election Day, will the Republicans take control of the New York State Senate? Can we expect any surprises in New York, and what will turnout be like? The Marist Poll’s John Sparks speaks with Political Analyst Jay DeDapper about this and more. Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.
Jay, Election Day is approaching. The last time we spoke about the New York Governor’s race, you told me it’s Andrew Cuomo’s to lose. Now there’s been this debate, just curious, have things changed, or is the race tightening up any?
Listen to the Interview, Part 1:
If anything, it’s changed in Andrew Cuomo’s favor. Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate, has stuck his foot in his mouth so many times that he’s run out of mouth space. He has gotten into so much trouble with so many comments and so many things he said and done that even in this Republican year, this very Republican year, this race… I don’t think you can even say, “It’s Andrew Cuomo’s to lose anymore.” I don’t… there’s really no conceivable way short of some unbelievable disaster on Andrew Cuomo’s part that he will not win this race.
You know, Jay, Andrew Cuomo isn’t the only one who has a stake in the governor’s election. Control of the Senate is also at stake. I believe Republicans need to pick up two seats in the Senate to regain control of the majority if Cuomo is elected and only one if a Republican is elected governor. Do you see a change in the control of the New York Senate?
Well, the New York State Senate has been controlled by Republicans, had been controlled by Republicans, basically from the beginning of the century, the last century, the 20th Century, until two years ago. So, there’s a lot of reason to believe that Democrats’ hold on it is tenuous. Add to that the fact that the Democrats basically came into office taking over the state Senate for the first time and proceeded to commit fratricide by not being able to decide on a majority leader, having a war over the majority leader, when it’s finally appointing a different majority leader than the one who they thought they were going to have and then failing to accomplish much of anything. It seems very unlikely at this point the Democrats will be able to retain control of the state Senate. That probably doesn’t mean anything at all for the way the government works because let’s face it, government in Albany doesn’t work no matter who’s in charge, and it’s going to be a tall task for Andrew Cuomo to change what three governors before him have all said they would change and failed to do. What is at stake, though, is that the state Senate controls to some degree redistricting for congressional seats. New York has only one Republican congressperson left. If the state Senate is controlled by Republicans, they will be able to redraw the congressional lines because New York is probably going to lose some congressional seats because of population decline, vis-à-vis other parts of the country. It looks like if Republicans were to regain control of the state Senate, which seems fairly likely, they will be able to redraw those lines to the benefit of Republicans who will likely be able to gain a couple of congressional seats and tilt the balance a little bit more towards them from a huge, huge underdog status they now face.
And, I believe Malcolm Smith was quoted as saying that if the Democrats retain a majority, that he would see that they would gerrymander those districts so that Republicans will be in oblivion in New York for the next 20 years.
Yeah, I mean if the Democrats can regain or excuse me, can control the state Senate, can hold onto control, there’s no reason to believe that they would not be able to draw the districts in such a way that there would be no Republican, safe Republican congressional seats. That basically has to do with political affiliation in this state. There are very few Republicans compared to Democrats and independents. It’s five to three to one. And, so finding a Republican seat, even upstate, requires some very special work with the pen. The Republicans have been able to do that. Democrats won’t need a whole lot of effort to draw a Republican district out of existence.
Do you still feel that New York voters are rather lukewarm about these upcoming races. Say like in the comptroller’s race?
Listen to Part 2:
Yeah, the comptroller’s race is an interesting one because there hasn’t been any significant polling on it. It is the second most powerful seat or the attorney general. Depending on how you look at it, the second or third most powerful statewide elected official, and it can be a very important role, especially if the comptroller is of the opposite party or is in a war with the governor. The comptroller, he or she, can be a real thorn in the side of the governor, and sometimes maybe that’s a good thing. This race has not gotten very much attention. It has a name on the Republican line that people are going to recognize because John Faso ran for governor before, and it’s got a name on the Democratic side of a guy who’s been comptroller for the last few years but hasn’t made a whole lot of noise. He… I’m sure he thinks he has, but it’s tough to get through the — to clear the chatter when David Paterson is your meltdown governor, and Andrew Cuomo is your attorney general hard charging on all the banks and consumer frauds and all that. I think that the DiNapoli race, the comptroller race could be a surprise. That could be where a fairly low turnout, the fairly low interest among Democrats plays for the benefit of much more excited Republicans.
Do you think there will be a low turnout?
You know, I hate predicting turnout. You know we’ve worked together a long time and seen a lot of elections, and turnout predictions almost invariably proved to be untrue. I don’t think turnout in a year where even though we have two Senate seats up, which is a historical anomaly, we’ve got a big governor’s race with a big name, and we’ve got the control of the Senate and Congress in Washington at stake, I don’t get the sense from the people in New York, from talking to people, from overhearing conversations, from seeing the buzz, I don’t get the sense that this is an energized political state right now. So, I would guess if I had to be a betting person and guess, I would put my chips down on not a very large turnout.
We’ve seen polls, and we hear that voters are angry, they’re ready to turn everyone out. They’re really unhappy. I talked to one of our former colleagues, Gabe Pressman, earlier this morning. He has been in Utica, and he said that was the sentiment in Utica. And, yet, despite all this that we hear about people not being satisfied, it does not seem like that they’re going to take the time or the energy to go to the polls to make a change.
I mean, I don’t … when I say “low turnout,” I don’t mean that it’s going to be like primary low turnout, like in primaries where 4% or 6% of the people turn out. I just don’t think this is going to be anywhere near obviously a presidential year, and I kind of doubt that in New York it’s going to be as big as 2006, which was a very large off-year election in terms of turnout. I think what Gabe found in Utica is probably right. Upstate, as you know, Upstate New York has been economically depressed and down at the heels for the most part, not every city, but for the most part for decades. I don’t think you could go up there even in best of times and find people that are particularly happy with government, whether it be in Albany or in Washington, and I think that those folks — I think they are motivated to vote to some degree, although no more or less motivated than they are in any other year when they’re particularly upset. I do think that it’s worth remembering that Upstate New York is an increasingly small part of the electorate of New York State. You only have to win New York City and either Long Island or Westchester County, and you can’t be beat. You just can’t be beat in this state. There’s just not enough people upstate to make a difference, and I’m not sure that activated, energized, mobilized feeling is as strong in the suburbs here or in the city. Part of that has to do with the economy. New York’s economy has weathered this recession better than almost any major city other than Pittsburgh and a couple of bright spots, and the suburbs, while being hit somewhat hard, it’s nothing like Arizona or California or Florida or Nevada or many of these other places where real estate has just sucked the life out of people in the economy. It hasn’t happened here and there may be anger, but it’s not the visceral anger that you see out West and in the South.
I’d like to take a quick look at some other races. Andrew Cuomo of course will be leaving the attorney general’s position one way one or another. Any contest in the race for attorney general?
Listen to Part 3:
It’s possible. Eric Schneiderman has certainly won over Democrats. He’s fairly popular among the Democratic clubs and the folks that can get the vote out if it’s a lowish turnout. He is popular in the suburbs. He’s a Manhattan guy, but he’s popular enough in the suburbs, and his Republican opponent doesn’t have enough of a name or, I think, a widespread name recognition and so far not enough money to cut through the clutter. I think that there’s always a chance that after you get past Andrew Cuomo and maybe Chuck Schumer on the ticket, I think there’s always a chance you’re going to see ticket splitters and people saying, “Screw it — throw the bums out,” and voting for Republicans. I wouldn’t think it’s going to happen in the attorney general race, but it’s always a chance.
Glad you mentioned Schumer. I was about to ask you, the president’s popularity has been on quite a slide. Will that translate into a problem for Schumer or Kirsten Gillibrand?
Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have anemic, and that’s putting it kindly, anemic Republican opposition. I think this is a year that if Republicans in New York State had gotten their act together and put up a really strong candidate, especially against Kirsten Gillibrand, they might have a seat in the Northeast to win. Chuck Schumer, that’s a harder nut to crack. Schumer’s got a lot of money. He’s got a lot of popularity. He’s a campaigner. As you know, he works harder than anybody you’ve ever seen campaigning and governing and being on the job. He will be a tough person to beat even when Republicans manage to put up a Grade A candidate. This year they have not. Both of those seats are very safely Democratic.
You know I mentioned a minute ago about the possibility of gerrymandering and redrawing congressional districts. I’m just curious about the congressional seats in New York at this time. Any that might change hands?
Listen to Part 4:
Oh yeah. I mean, two years ago when Democrats almost swept, they almost took every seat from Republicans, and this would’ve been an entirely Democratic state as represented in Congress, That was the high water mark. Maybe people didn’t recognize that at the time that that was the high water mark. This year there are numerous seats that were — that are already kind of 50/50 seats. In other words, half of the people are Democratic, half are Republicans, or better put a third are Democrats, about a third are Republicans, about a third are independents. There are actually a number of districts that way throughout the state which have elected only in the last two or four years, only in the last two cycles Democrats for the first time in many cases in decades. I think many of those seats are vulnerable. John Hall in the Hudson Valley I think is vulnerable. That’s a seat that was Republican historically. There’s a seat outside of Albany, historically forever a Republican seat. Since the Civil War, it was a Republican seat until a couple of terms ago. I think that’s at risk. Tim Bishop out of the end of Long Island, Suffolk County, probably not in a huge amount of trouble, but facing an extremely wealthy self-financed candidate, and if voters in Suffolk County are angry enough, Tim Bishop could be another victim. I think New York wakes up the day after the election with at least a couple of more Republican members of the House.
We’re right on top of it. Do you see anything taking place between now and Election Day? Politics is dynamic. Any surprises? Anything you’ve heard of that might change your opinion about what we talked about today?
Nothing that you can see, but that’s the nature and the excitement of politics is that you never know what’s going to happen in the final two weeks of the campaign. Typically, if it’s going to be something that another campaign, an opposing campaign knows about, you actually don’t save it till the final weekend. You start to roll it out about now because it takes a couple of weeks to take hold and to have its effect. We saw that with Chuck Schumer and Al D’Amato when Al D’Amato back in 1992 — 1998, excuse me, called Schumer a putzhead on the radio. That took a few days, about four/five days for Schumer to kind of traction on it, to work it up, that was two weeks out from the election and that was the end of D’Amato. So, if there’s a surprise out there, if there’s somebody that’s going to screw up, this is the time they’re going to have to do it. You get too close to Election Day and those kinds of things don’t generally happen and they don’t generally work. I don’t see anything on the horizon, but who knows? That’s the fun of politics.
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:
In the race for New York governor, do voters statewide think the candidates are fit to be governor? Find out the answer in the latest Daily News/Marist Poll in New York State. Click here to read the full Daily News article.
Tables for the Marist Poll Conducted for the Daily News:
Despite calls to replace all incumbents regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republicans, Political Analyst Jay Dedapper thinks most of New York’s incumbents will hold onto their seats. And, he tells the Marist Poll’s John Sparks that’s because he believes voter turnout will be low in the upcoming midterm elections.
Listen to Part 1 of the Interview:
Jay, the last time we spoke, you told me New Yorkers were not all that excited about races coming up on the November ballot. Since then, however, the Tea Party scored a couple more primary victories, and a New York Times‘ poll recently reported that voters across the country, they said they’re disenchanted with all incumbents regardless of whether they’re Democrats or Republicans. Do you still feel that New York voters are rather lukewarm about these upcoming races?
Yeah, I do. I think there’s the anger and the frustration that voters say they feel in polls actually hasn’t really showed up at the polls. It’s showed up in terms of the number of people who do come to the polls and vote, but take a look at that race in Delaware, for instance, with Christine O’Donnell, and here’s someone who got a big victory over a moderate Republican that was supported by the party structure. But, look at the number of people who turned out to vote. It was fewer than 25% of — or less than 25% of the Republican electorate. So, yeah, people are frustrated and upset and angry. So far, there hasn’t been a lot of evidence that mass numbers of people are so upset and angry that they’re actually going to bother to go to the polls and do anything about it, at least not in primaries. I think the situation in New York is exacerbated by the fact that there’s such a large Democratic registration advantage, and at least right now the premier race, the marquee race, which is for governor, is headlined by a guy, Andrew Cuomo, who does not really – there’s not a lot of animosity towards him among independents. Republicans may not like him because his Cuomo, but independents don’t really seem to dislike Andrew Cuomo all that much, and they are the only ones who could swing this race into something that would be considered competitive, I think.
So, Andrew Cuomo in the governor’s race, Paladino really doesn’t have a shot since he knocked off Lazio?
Well, again, you have to look at the registration advantage the Democrats have in the state, and for a Republican to win in New York, any statewide office, in the last ten years or so, it hasn’t happened, and it hasn’t happened because that registration advantage is so large. When it’s happened in the past, even when the Democrats have held a big registration advantage, it happened at the end of Cuomo, for instance, the last Cuomo when he was running for a fourth term, and George Pataki ran as kind of an outsider and an independent. In this case, Andrew Cuomo, the son of Mario Cuomo, is not running for a fourth term. He’s running as an outsider. He’s running as the guy who could come in and fix Albany. There is no incumbent that’s running, so I don’t think that the Republicans have the advantage that they have when they’re running against incumbent Democrats who have frankly been in office too long. That’s not the case in this case, and it’s going to — it would take a overwhelming turnout among independents and Republicans and for Democrats to simply stay home, lots and lots of Democrats to stay home, to get Paladino much of a chance, and that doesn’t even accept the fact that Republicans are pretty split about him winning.
Listen to Part 2:
And, so I don’t suppose Chuck Schumer’s staying awake at night worrying about Jay Townsend these days?
Yeah, I mean there are on top of the gubernatorial race, there are two Senate races. Chuck Schumer is one of them, and Kirsten Gillibrand is the second. So, both U.S. Senate seats are up. Chuck Schumer is clearly the one that doesn’t have anything to worry about because he still has, among all the politicians in New York that are in office and running for re-election, he’s the one who has the highest rating of favorability. It’s not as high as it once was, but as you said at the very beginning, it doesn’t really matter what party you’re in, if you’re an incumbent, people are angry.
You know, Gillibrand’s an interesting study I think. At one time there were mixed reviews even among Democrats when she was appointed. What sense do you get now? Is there any chance that her opponent can surprise her?
I think there’s more of a chance there than there is that Paladino’s going to surprise Cuomo or Jay Townsend’s going to surprise Chuck Schumer. There doesn’t… She has failed over the course of her term — her time in office, and remember, she replaced Hillary Clinton when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. And as you alluded to, there was a lot of consternation among Democrats that the governor at the time, David Paterson, appointed her as opposed to appointing someone else, like Caroline Kennedy. Kirsten Gillibrand came in with that problem of Democrats feeling that she wasn’t the best — many Democrats feeling she wasn’t the best candidate, and I don’t think she’s done a lot in the last two years. I think she’s tried, but I don’t think she’s made a lot of progress in convincing Democrats that she’s really the senator that they would pick if they really had their choice. It’s not much of a choice. I mean all of that being said, the Republican challenger that she’s facing is not well — particularly well-known, not particularly well-funded, and in a year like this when you’ve got a Cuomo and Schumer on the ballot, it seems unlikely to me that a Gillibrand is going to have enough trouble that she is going to be in danger of losing this seat. But of all the major races, she’s the one because she has failed to really garner strong Democratic support. I think she’s probably the one who faces the only real challenge.
And whoever wins this one will be up again three years from now.
Yeah, well two years from now. Three years from now, but two years from Election Day…
Therefore, January. Yeah, this is a strange race because she was appointed, and by New York State law, once you’re appointed to fill out the seat, you don’t actually fill out the entire time. You actually have to run in the next general election so that the voters get a chance to approve or disapprove of the appointment. But then you only fill out the term as it is legislatively laid out or constitutionally laid out, and Hillary Clinton’s term was supposed to end in 2012. So Kirsten Gillibrand, should she win, will be running again in 2012. So, there’s a lot of races for her. But I suspect that with most – as with most incumbents, the longer that you — the more you’re able to get through tough races early on, the more — the better chances you have later on of fending off tough challengers and having tough races.
Listen to Part 3:
You know Charlie Rangel’s had his problems lately. Do you think that that will sway voters in his congressional district this time?
Wel, if that was going to happen, it was going to happen in the primary. He was running against Adam Clayton Powell IV. Remember, Charlie Rangel won his historic race back in the ’70s against Adam Clayton Powell’s father. Adam Clayton Powell was a historic African American congressman. Charlie Rangel ran as the new blood, the new breed, the new guy who was going to come in and shake things up. Well, now he’s the old guy, the old guard, and Adam Clayton Powell IV didn’t come anywhere close to unseating him in the Democratic primary. And let’s face it, in our Harlem, a Republican’s not going to win in Harlem. The district that Charlie Rangel is in is one of the most Democratic districts in the entire country. So, if you don’t beat him in the primary, he’s not going to lose the race.
Do you see any upsets in congressional races in New York?
Mike McMahon on Staten Island. That’s a seat that has been Republican for many years. Vito Fossella lost that or decided not to run for re-election in that seat after the scandal involving a mistress and a child. Before that, Susan Molinari held that seat. It’s been a Republican seat for a long time. Mike McMahon won it in a tight election in an overwhelmingly Democratic year, 2008. I would say that’s probably in the New York City area, the one where there’s the most risk to an incumbent, and in this case a Democrat. There’s some outside of the direct New York City area. John Hall in the Hudson Valley who won in 2004, I believe, it may have been 2006. He won in what was kind of a Democratic year. It must’ve been 2006. That’s a district that has been Republican in the past. It’s kind of a swing district, and I imagine he’s facing — I believe he’s facing a veteran, Iraq War veteran. That could be a tough race as well. And there’s some in Upstate New York, some congressional Democrats that won again in either 2006 or 2008, very strong Democratic years, in seats that have traditionally been kind of squishy, not very Democratic, a little bit more Republican, and all of them could face some problems. But in the New York City area, Mike McMahon, I think, is the only seat to really watch for an upset.
But, all in all for the most part, I take it that you see not very many upsets in, what, low to moderate turnout?
Yeah. There doesn’t seem to be the passion. And even again, this goes back to my original point. If you look at what happened in the Republican primary in New York, Paladino beat Lazio, Lazio being the kind of the standard candidate of the Republican Party, by a very large margin, but the number of people who turned out was not huge. It wasn’t like 50% of Republican voters turned out. The turnout was really quite low. These are among allegedly very angry voters, the Republican voters, and they didn’t really turn out. I think that what you see in election years like what’s coming up, and we saw it in 1994, is that you have a very motivated portion of the electorate that turns out and can sway elections. I’m not denying that they can sway elections in dramatic fashion, but it’s not a majority. It’s not even a significant minority. It’s a fairly small number of people who are really upset and really angry who bother to go to the polls, and they do make a difference in years like this. I think unfortunately apathy is the more common thing that you see in a year like this, voters that are just frustrated and angry or frustrated and angry, but angry in a way that doesn’t translate into action.
Listen to Part 4:
Jay, always a pleasure to talk politics with you. Any other thoughts you’d like to share about the upcoming midterm election?
I think it’s going to be really interesting to see if the people who have been driving the elections this year, and they’re not all Republicans and they’re not all Tea Party members, the people who have been driving elections all year all across the country have been people who are angry. Some of them are Democrats. Some Democratic incumbents have lost in primaries. It’ll be interesting to me that once you get to the general election, and everybody in the nations focused on this first major Election Day after Barack Obama became President. And if Barack Obama throws some of his weight into this, as it looks like he’s going to, it’ll be really interesting to me to see if there’s kind of a counterweight to that anger, that anti-incumbent anger, that ends up supporting some incumbents (In many cases, that would be Democrats) and whether that’s enough to offset some of this anger that seems to be aimed at ousting incumbents, including many Democrats. I think the other thing to watch for, and everybody’s talked about it, but it’s fascinating to me, is — what is the role the Tea Party plays in the future of the GOP? In Tea Party activists and in angry voters electing or putting on the ballot, excuse me, in primaries, people like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware — does that create a situation where the Republican Party in a general election is so out of the mainstream, is so filled with candidates who are so crazy that the party actually ends up blowing an incredible opportunity that’s been handed to them on a silver platter and fails to capitalize in a significant way on the intense voter dissatisfaction? That is something that I think is fascinating, and I think everybody’s looking at that. Everybody’s talking about, but that’s the big story, and I think will remain the big story all the way to Election Day.
In the race for New York governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo receives the support of 52% of likely voters statewide compared with 33% for Republican Carl Paladino. Rick Lazio, on the Conservative line, garners the support of 9% of likely voters. 6% are unsure.
Not surprisingly, Cuomo receives the backing of 81% of Democratic voters who are likely to cast their ballot on Election Day. However, he is also buoyed by a notable proportion of likely Republican voters — 19%. Paladino garners the support of more than six in ten Republicans who are likely to vote — 63%, but only 11% of likely Democratic voters. Looking at likely voters who are not enrolled in any party, Cuomo receives 44% to 33% who plan to cast their ballot for Paladino. Lazio receives the support of 14% of likely non-enrolled voters, 11% of the likely Republican vote, and 4% of Democrats who are likely to vote.
Many likely voters who consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party back Paladino. 69% report this to be the case while 14% back Lazio, and 13% support Cuomo. 4% are unsure.
“Andrew Cuomo is ahead, and right now, this is not a close race,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “He is being bolstered by the Lazio factor, but he is just above 50% among likely voters, and you can’t overlook the enthusiasm Republicans are bringing to this election cycle.”
Regionally, Cuomo runs best in New York City followed by the New York City suburbs. In the Big Apple, 65% of likely voters say they plan to vote for Cuomo while 23% report they will cast their ballot for Paladino. Lazio receives the support of just 6%. Moving to the suburbs, Cuomo garners a majority of likely voters in this region — 52% — while Paladino and Lazio net 30% and 16%, respectively. Upstate, Cuomo and Paladino receive the same support. Both Cuomo and Paladino take 43% of likely upstate voters. Just 7% of likely upstate voters say they will cast their ballot for Lazio. 7% are also unsure.
When likely voters who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate are thrown into the mix, Cuomo receives 53% of the vote compared with Paladino’s 34%. Lazio takes 10%, and 3% remain unsure.
Looking at the overall electorate, 55% of registered voters statewide support Cuomo while 29% say they back Paladino. Lazio receives the nod from just 10% of New York registered voters. 6% are unsure.
Cuomo and Paladino with Strong Support
Nearly six in ten likely voters — 59% — report they strongly support their choice for governor while more than one-fourth — 28% — somewhat support their candidate. 12% say they might vote differently.
Among likely voters who report they will back Andrew Cuomo for governor, 64% state they strongly support him, and 25% say they somewhat support him. 10%, on the other hand, might vote differently come Election Day.
Paladino’s supporters share a similar level of support. Looking at likely voters who support Paladino, 61% firmly back him, and 32% somewhat support him. 7% might change their minds and vote differently.
Rick Lazio’s supporters aren’t as intense in their level of support. Only 30% of likely voters who support Lazio report they are unwavering in their support while 28% are somewhat behind him. 40% may alter their decision before Election Day and choose another candidate.
About Two-thirds For Candidate
When asked whether they selected their respective candidate because they are for him or against his opponents, 66% of likely voters say they are for their respective candidate while 32% report they are against the others. 2% are unsure.
While more than seven in ten Cuomo supporters — 72% — choose him because they are for him, more than a quarter of his backers — 26% — say they support Cuomo because they are against Paladino and Lazio. When compared with Cuomo supporters, fewer Paladino backers report they are voting for their candidate rather than against the other candidates for governor. 58% say they are for Paladino while 39% support him because they don’t want Cuomo or Lazio to win. Although a majority of likely voters who plan to support Lazio — 53% — are backing him because they think he is the best candidate, 45% are doing so because they are against his opponents.
The Enthusiasm Factor: Majority of Republicans Express Highest Enthusiasm
Are registered voters in New York State enthusiastic about voting this November? 38% report they are very enthusiastic.
Republicans are expressing more enthusiasm about casting their ballot this fall than are Democrats. 51% of registered Republican voters say they are very enthusiastic. This compares with 34% of Democratic voters and 31% of non-enrolled voters who report the same.
Among registered voters who back Paladino — 58% — are very enthusiastic . This compares with 30% of Cuomo’s supporters and 32% of Lazio’s backers who share this degree of excitement.
Voters Dissatisfied with Albany … Want a New Direction for the State
Voters are displeased with the way state government in Albany is run. More than seven in ten registered voters statewide — 72% — believe the way things are run need major changes while 13% think state government is broken and beyond repair. 15% are more forgiving and report that state government’s modus operandi needs minor changes. Less than 1% of the electorate say no changes are needed.
Little has changed on this question since Marist last asked it in May. At that time, seven in ten voters — 70% — believed major changes were needed in Albany, and 16% said Albany was beyond repair. 13% thought minor changes needed to be applied, and 1% stated all was well with how Albany was being run.
With voters expressing such a high level of dissatisfaction with state government, it’s probably little surprise that 73% of registered voters think the state needs to be re-directed. 24%, however, believe New York is moving in the right direction. 3% are unsure.
When Marist last asked voters in New York about the direction of the state, a similar proportion — 72% — thought the state needed a new course while 22% said it was on the right path. 6%, at the time, were unsure.
Out with the Old… Approval Rating for Paterson Stands at 19%
Voters’ disapproval of Governor David Paterson remains evident. Currently, about one-fifth of registered voters in New York State — 19% — think Paterson is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This includes 3% who report he is doing an excellent job and 16% who say he is doing a good one. 40% rate the job Paterson is doing as governor as fair while the same proportion — 40% — think he is performing poorly. 1% are unsure.
In Marist’s May survey, 19% gave Paterson high marks, and 38% rated his job performance as fair. About four in ten — 41% — rated Paterson poorly. 2% were unsure.
Dip In Cuomo Approval Rating
There has been a decline in New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s job approval rating due to a drop in the proportions of registered Republican voters and non-enrolled voters who now approve of his performance in office.
Among registered voters, 56% say Cuomo is doing either an excellent or good job in office. Included here are 18% who think he is doing an excellent job and 38% who believe he is doing a good one. 29% rate Cuomo as fair while just 13% call his performance poor. 2% are unsure.
In Marist’s May survey, 64% gave Cuomo a thumbs-up, 27% said he was doing a fair job, and only 6% thought he performed poorly. 3% were unsure.
While Cuomo’s Democratic base is firm, fewer Republicans and non-enrolled voters give him a thumbs-up. 36% of Republican voters and 55% of non-enrolled voters currently think Cuomo is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This compares with 58% and 63%, respectively, who thought so in May. 70% of Democrats now give Cuomo high marks while the same proportion — 70% — did so four months ago.
Status Quo for Comptroller DiNapoli
About one-third of registered voters statewide — 33% — think New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is doing either an excellent or good job in office. Included here are 4% who say DiNapoli is doing an excellent job and 29% who believe he is doing a good job. 33% report he is doing a fair job while 13% think he is performing poorly. A notable proportion of voters — 21% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate DiNapoli.
When Marist last asked New York State voters about Tom DiNapoli’s job performance, 29% gave the comptroller high marks, 34% rated his performance as fair, and 9% thought he was doing a poor job. More than one-fourth — 28% — were unsure how to rate him.
Obama Approval Rating Falls to 47%
President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped in New York State. Currently, 47% of registered voters in the state say the president is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This includes 16% who report Mr. Obama is doing an excellent job and 31% who think he is doing a good job. 22% say the president’s job performance is fair while 31% believe he is performing poorly. Fewer than 1% are unsure.
In Marist’s May survey, a majority — 55% — approved of how the president was doing in office while 22% rated his job performance as fair. 23% reported he was doing a subpar job. Fewer than 1% were unsure.
The change has occurred among Republicans and non-enrolled voters. While 17% of Republicans and 41% of voters not enrolled in any party currently believe the president is doing either an excellent or good job in office, 29% of the statewide GOP and a majority of non-enrolled voters — 52% — said the same four months ago.
So, the press (and pollsters, too) are probably pleased that at least the Paladino vs. Cuomo matchup for governor will provide some interesting byplay. How quickly we all forget the good times when Rick Lazio marched across the stage to confront Hillary Clinton in 2000. If the 2010 campaign nationally is about anything new and dynamic, then how about a classic outsider-insider contest with a Tea Party flavor right here in New York?
But, not so fast. Carl Paladino’s come from behind thrashing of Rick Lazio may have been just as much about dissension within the GOP then a tidal wave of discontent rushing down the Erie Canal to Albany. If you left the GOP convention in NYC in June with the blessings of the party organization, whether for Governor or the two contests for U.S. Senate, then you headed home last night a loser. Now, Paladino no doubt gets a bounce from his primary victory, is well-funded for the general election contest, and brings his baseball bat as a genuine outsider looking to hit for the cycle.
But, Paladino is largely a political unknown statewide as far as the general electorate is concerned. And, if you know anything about Andrew Cuomo, expect a concerted effort to portray Paladino as outside the range of acceptability for mainstream New York voters. Cuomo is the most popular elected official in New York State and enjoys the 2:1 advantage Democrats have over Republicans. Right now, this has to be viewed as enough to stave off Paladino.
Don’t expect a 40 point win for the son of the greatest governor in the greatest state in the only world we know. But, look for team Cuomo to revise then unknown candidate Mario Cuomo’s 1982 campaign slogan to something that defines Paladino. Perhaps, “The better you know him the better you know he’s ‘too right’ for governor.” And, that process of political definition begins today, on Day 1 of Paladino vs. Cuomo.