2/3: 26% Approval Rating for Paterson

The brief bump in New York Governor David Paterson’s approval rating did not last long.  About one-quarter of registered voters statewide — 26% — think Paterson is doing either an excellent or good job in office.  Four in ten say the governor is performing fairly well while 30% think he is doing a poor job.

David Paterson (Photo courtesy of New York State)

David Paterson (Photo courtesy of New York State)

Click Here for Complete February 3, 2010 NYS Poll Release and Tables

When The Marist Poll last asked about the governor’s job performance in mid-January, 31% thought the governor was doing an above average job.  41% rated him as fair.  23% reported he was performing poorly.

“With Attorney General Andrew Cuomo looking over his shoulder, Governor David Paterson continues to have serious problems with voters across party lines and throughout the state,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Governor David Paterson’s job approval rating has notched down among voters regardless of party.  30% of Democrats, 21% of Republicans, and 27% of non-enrolled voters view the governor as doing an above average job.  This compares with 34% of Democrats, 25% of Republicans, and 33% of non-enrolled voters who thought that way in Marist’s mid-January survey.  Across the board, more voters think Paterson is doing a poor job compared with Marist’s previous survey.

Although Paterson’s job approval rating is little changed among voters in New York City, he has lost support in the suburbs and upstate.  30% of voters in the city, 21% of those in the suburbs, and 27% of upstate voters report the governor is doing well.  Two weeks ago, 28% in New York City, 28% in the suburbs, and 33% upstate held those views.

Table: Paterson’s Approval Rating

Budget Blues for Paterson, But …

Although nearly six in ten voters — 57% — disapprove of the way Governor David Paterson is handling the state’s budget, he has somewhat improved his standing.  37% currently approve of his budgetary skills compared with 28% who shared this view in November.  Last time, 64% disapproved.

Table: Paterson Handling of Budget

Dems Want Paterson Out … Cuomo Bid

Will Governor Paterson’s stint in Albany be short-lived?  Many Democratic voters statewide — 60% — do not want Paterson to run for governor this year while only one-third does.  This is relatively unchanged from Marist’s November survey when 57% of Democrats wanted Paterson to drop out, and 34% wanted him to remain in the contest.

When it comes to another prominent Democrat in the state, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, it’s a different story.  More than three-quarters of Democratic voters — 76% — want Cuomo to toss his hat into the ring while just 16% do not.  8% are unsure.  In Marist’s September 2009 survey, 77% wanted Cuomo to take on Paterson, and 18% did not.  5% were unsure.

But, what a difference a couple of years make!  When The Marist Poll asked about potential gubernatorial bids in the midst of former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s sex scandal in March 2008, a majority of Democrats — 55% — wanted Paterson to run for the office this year while 19% did not.  26% were unsure.  Cuomo’s prospects, at the time, were a lot dimmer.  Democrats divided when it came to a potential run.  46% wanted Cuomo to seek the office of governor while 41% did not.  13% were unsure.

Table: Should Paterson Run for Governor in 2010?
Table: Should Cuomo Run for Governor in 2010
Table: Gubernatorial Prospects (March 2008)

Cuomo Leads Paterson By More Than Three-To-One Among Democrats

If Paterson remains in the race and Cuomo announces his candidacy, who would be the likely Democratic nominee for governor?  If this year’s Democratic primary were held today, Cuomo would defeat Paterson, 70% to 23%.  Similar proportions of Democratic voters in New York State held these views when Marist last asked this question in November.

Table: Democratic Primary — Paterson/Cuomo

Paterson and Lazio Locked in Tight Race … Cuomo Leads Lazio

And, the hits just keep on coming for Governor Paterson.  If he were to secure the Democratic nomination, he would find himself in a tough battle with former U.S. Representative Rick Lazio.  Currently, Republican Lazio receives 46% of the statewide vote to Paterson’s 43%.  These proportions are relatively unchanged since Marist’s November survey.

However, Cuomo fares much better against Lazio.  Currently, he receives 64% of registered voters’ support compared with 27% for Lazio.  In November, Cuomo had 69% compared with Lazio’s 24%.

Table: Paterson/Lazio 2010 Matchup
Table: Cuomo/Lazio 2010 Matchup

Kudos for Cuomo

What accounts for Cuomo’s lead?  Perhaps, it has something to do with the job New Yorkers think he is doing as attorney general.  62% of registered voters statewide think Cuomo is doing either an excellent or good job in office while just 6% say he is performing poorly.  Cuomo’s current job approval rating is consistent with the 64% he achieved in Marist’s mid-January survey.

Table: Cuomo Approval Rating

Marist Poll Methodology

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