10/22: Cuomo Opens Up Big Lead Over Paladino

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.

Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

Click Here for Complete October 22, 2010 NYS Gubernatorial Poll Release and Tables

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.

Carl Paladino

Carl 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.


Table: NY Gubernatorial Tossup (Likely Voters Including Early Voters and Leaners)
Table: NY Gubernatorial Tossup (Registered Voters Including Early Voters)

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.


Table: Candidates’ Strength of Support

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.


Table: Cuomo Fit to be Governor?
Table: Paladino Fit to be Governor?

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.


Table: Voting for Candidate or Against Opponent?

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.


Table: Cuomo Favorability
Table: Paladino Favorability

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.

Table: Cuomo Approval Rating
Table: Cuomo Approval Rating Over Time


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.


Table: Enthusiasm to Vote

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.

Table: NYS Direction
Table: NYS Direction Over Time


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.


Table: U.S. Economy – Will It Get Worse?

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.

Table: Paterson Approval Rating
Table: Paterson Approval Rating Over Time


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.

Table: Obama Approval Rating
Table: Obama Approval Rating Over Time


Marist Poll Methodology