Gov. Andrew Cuomo sank to his lowest job-approval rating since becoming governor, according to a poll released Monday, yet voters say he would still handily defeat Republican candidates if the election were held now.
The Siena College poll showed 56 percent of those questioned rated the Democrat’s job performance as fair or poor. A month ago, 47 percent of voters felt that way.
In Monday’s poll, just 44 percent of voters felt Cuomo was doing an excellent or good job after three years in office during which he logged nearly record marks in polls. Cuomo lost the most support for his performance in New York City, his political base in the heavily Democratic state. But he held steady upstate where he’s been traveling often in recent weeks to shore up a drop in support after he led the effort to get gun control measures passed this year.
Still, Cuomo’s overall and personal favorability among voters remains high at 61 percent, which is steady over recent months, but a drop from 71 percent favorability rating in January. In addition, Cuomo would also trounce potential Republican challengers at this point as he prepares to campaign for re-election next year. He overwhelms Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, State Republican Chairman Ed Cox and Carl Paladino by between 37 and 41 points.
State Democratic Committee Executive Director Rodney Capel called the poll “totally nonsensical.”
Cox said he feels the disapproval for the job Cuomo is doing is the result of an error in priorities. Cox insists Cuomo has failed to improve the economy and to reduce taxes, which the GOP says are the biggest concerns of New Yorkers. Instead, Cox said Cuomo spent his political capital on issues such as legalizing immorality, bringing more casinos and gun control to satisfy his liberal base.
Cox also says many New Yorkers are critical of Cuomo because he hasn’t yet made a decision on whether to authorize more hydraulic fracturing for natural gas buried in an upstate shale deposit and which Cox said would produce jobs.
“He has not performed … and people understand that casinos are not economic development,” Cox said.
But Cuomo has the approval of more than 80 percent of Democrats, and he has a hefty $30 million campaign chest to gain the approval of others.
When voters were asked whether their political beliefs were better represented by Cuomo or New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, nearly half said Cuomo, while more than one-quarter say de Blasio. Even Democrats preferred Cuomo to de Blasio by a 48 to 37 percent margin.
One interesting tidbit shows that Cuomo would lose a prospective presidential matchup in his own state to Chris Christie, the Republican governor of neighboring New Jersey, by a 47 to 42 percent margin.