2/1: Schumer Approval Rating At Lowest Level Since 2001

Senator Chuck Schumer’s once rock solid approval rating has taken a slide.  For the first time in nearly nine years, Schumer’s approval rating has fallen below 50%.  According to the latest Marist Poll in New York, 47% of registered voters statewide report Schumer is doing either an excellent or good job in office.  31% rate the job he is doing as fair, and 17% view him as performing poorly.  This is Schumer’s lowest job approval rating since April 2001 when 49% of voters approved of the job he was doing.

Click Here for Complete February 1, 2010 NYS Schumer Poll Release and Tables

Sen. Chuck Schumer

Sen. Chuck Schumer

The approval rating of New York’s senior senator has declined over the past couple of months. In  Marist’s last survey on January 15th, 51% said Schumer was doing an above average job.  In November, he received a thumbs-up from 54% of registered voters in New York, and just last September, his approval rating was 58%.

Schumer’s decline is most pronounced in New York City.  51% of New York City voters currently give Schumer high marks while 57% did the same two weeks ago, 64% in November, and 66% in September.

“Senator Schumer is not immune from the anti-incumbent sentiment among voters, but it would take a major effort to unseat him,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

However, this is not Schumer’s lowest approval rating.  That occurred in March 2000 when The Marist Poll found 39% of registered voters statewide gave Schumer good grades.

Table: Schumer Approval Rating
Table: Schumer Approval Rating Over Time

Graph of Sen. Charles Schumer's approval rating over time.

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

But, Schumer Still Fares Well in Hypothetical Contest

The silver lining for Senator Schumer is that his approval rating does not translate into a competitive re-election contest against potential Republican challenger, CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow.  If November’s general election for U.S. Senate in New York were held today, 67% of registered voters statewide would support Schumer while 25% would cast their ballot for the Republican challenger, Kudlow.  8% are unsure.

There is a significant partisan divide in this matchup.  89% of registered Democrats would throw their support behind Schumer while 56% of Republicans would back Kudlow.  More than six-in-ten non-enrolled voters would cast their ballot for Schumer.

Table: 2010 Schumer/Kudlow Matchup

Marist Poll Methodology