May 7, 2010
5/7: Budget Blues in Albany
This Monday, the New York State Legislature is expected to vote on an emergency spending bill proposed by Governor David Paterson. With the possibility of a government shut down looming, the timing is critical.
But, how much do New York voters care that the budget is late? 72% of registered voters in New York State report it matters at least a good amount to them that this year’s budget is not on time. This includes 47% who say it matters a great deal and 25% who report it matters a good amount to them. On the other hand, the missed deadline doesn’t bother 19% of voters too much, and 8% aren’t upset at all. Just 1% is unsure.
This sentiment of dissatisfaction crosses party lines. 76% of non-enrolled voters and 75% of those in the state’s GOP say it matters at least a good amount to them that the budget deadline has come and gone. 67% of Democrats share this view.
When it comes to Governor Paterson, how do voters think he is handling the state’s budget?
More than six in ten registered voters in New York State — 64% — disapprove of his budgetary leadership. 31% approve, and 5% are unsure. When Marist last asked about Paterson’s handling of the budget in its March 26th survey, similar proportions held these views with 64% disapproving of Paterson’s budgetary acumen and 28% approving. At that time, 8% were unsure.
“The lack of Governor Paterson’s leadership on the budget worries New York voters,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “They are unhappy with the governor’s performance and think the lateness of the budget is troublesome.”
No Improvement on Paterson’s Job Approval Rating
It’s been more than a year since Governor David Paterson has received anything near majority support for his job performance. Currently, 19% of registered voters in New York State think Paterson is doing either an excellent or good job in office. 38% report he is doing a fair job, and 41% think he is performing poorly. Just 2% are unsure.
Little has changed on this question over the past six weeks. When Marist last asked this question in late March, 17% thought the governor was doing an above average job, 39% said he was doing a fair job, and 41% reported he was performing at a subpar level. 3%, at the time, were unsure.
Voters Call for Major Change in Albany
Governor Paterson isn’t the only one with whom voters are displeased. The New York State electorate is fed up with the way things are done in Albany. 70% believe state government needs major change while 16% say it is broken beyond repair. 13% think Albany needs minor changes, and just 1% reports no changes are necessary.
In Marist’s March 26th survey, similar proportions of the electorate held these views.
More Than Seven in Ten Want NYS Re-directed
Although, most voters in New York think the state is headed in the wrong direction, there has been a slight improvement in the proportion of those who think it is on the right track.
72% of voters believe New York State needs to be re-directed, and 22% say the state is traveling in the right direction. 6% are unsure. When Marist last asked about the direction of New York in late March, 78% thought its trajectory was askew while 16% said it was on track. 6%, then, were unsure.
The change has occurred among Democrats and those living in New York City and in the suburbs. 28% of Democratic voters believe the state’s compass is accurate while 20% believed that to be true in March. Looking at region, 37% in New York City and 21% in the suburbs report the state is on course. 27% and 11%, respectively, shared this opinion in Marist’s March 26th poll.
DiNapoli Stuck In Approval Rating Rut
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli cannot break through with voters. 29% believe he is doing an excellent or good job in office. 34% report he is doing a fair job, and 9% think he is performing poorly. A notable 28% have either never heard of DiNapoli or are unsure how to rate him.
In Marist’s late March poll, 29% gave DiNapoli high marks, 31% rated his job performance as fair, and 9% said he was doing a poor job. 31% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.