10/31: Cuomo Outpaces Astorino in Governor’s Race

Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo, 56%, leads his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, 30%, by almost two-to-one in the race for governor in New York among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (courtesy of N.Y. State)

Cuomo has the support of three in four likely voters from his own party, but he also has the backing of more than three in ten Republicans likely to cast a ballot.  Regionally, Cuomo has a wide lead among likely voters in New York City and receives majority support among likely voters in the city’s suburbs.  Although the contest is closer Upstate, Cuomo has a 9 point advantage over Astorino in the region.

Despite a lukewarm 44% job approval rating among registered voters, Cuomo has maintained his large advantage over Astorino.  Cuomo’s lead is bolstered by the positive view many likely voters have of him.  Astorino, who is still not well-known to more than a quarter of the state electorate, has a higher negative rating than positive score among voters.

“The poll suggests Astorino hasn’t gotten any traction,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Astorino has been unable to dent Cuomo’s image while Cuomo has successfully defined his opponent.” 

Complete October 31, 2014 NBC 4 New York/The Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll

Poll Points Governor:

  • Cuomo, 56%, leads Astorino, 30%, in the governor’s race among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early.  Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins has 6%.  Only 7% are undecided.  In NBC 4 New York/The Wall Street Journal/Marist’s late September survey, Cuomo, 54%, outdistanced Astorino, 29%, by a similar margin.
  • While Cuomo receives the support of 75% of Democratic likely voters, he also garners 31% of Republicans likely to vote.  A plurality of independents likely to cast a ballot, 47%, supports Cuomo compared with 32% for Astorino.  Hawkins has the backing of 10% of independents.
  • Cuomo, 72%, outpaces Astorino, 13%, among likely voters in New York City.  He also bests Astorino, 57% to 37%, among those in the city’s suburbs.  Upstate, Cuomo leads Astorino, 46% to 37%.
  • 57% of likely voters with a candidate preference including early voters, up slightly from 53% last month, strongly support their choice of candidate for governor Eight percent might vote differently.  While those who strongly back Astorino, 55%, is little changed from 56% previously, the proportion of Cuomo’s backers who express a strong level of support is up to 59% from 53% in September.
  • 62% of likely voters with a candidate preference for governor including early voters say they are voting for their candidate while 35% report they are casting a ballot against the others in the race.  While 77% of Cuomo’s backers say their vote is in favor of the incumbent, 55% of Astorino’s supporters report their vote is in opposition to Cuomo.
  • Among registered voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early, Cuomo leads Astorino, 54% to 28%.
  • A majority of likely voters, 56%, has a positive impression of Cuomo.  Among registered voters, a similar 54% have this view (Trend) Cuomo’s job approval rating among registered voters is at 44%, comparable to the 42% he received last month (Trend).
  • Astorino’s favorable rating, 32% to 41%, remains upside down among likely voters.  Astorino’s negatives are up slightly from 37%, and he is still little known to a notable proportion, 27%, of the likely electorate.  Among registered voters, Astorino’s favorable score is 29%.  His negative rating is 40% (Trend).
  • Education is cited by 21% of likely voters as the top priority for the governor of New York.  Jobs, 19%, and taxes, 18%, follow closely behind.  Eight percent mention security from terrorism, and an additional 8% say improving the business climate is key.  26% select another issue.
  • Although they divide about the direction of the state, registered voters are slightly more positive about its trajectory.  46% believe the state is on the wrong track while 45% say it is on the right course.  In September, half of voters thought New York was heading in the wrong direction, and 43% thought it was moving in the right direction (Trend).

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Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables