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Cuomo Rebounds With Voters, Most Are Embarrassed By Weiner, Spitzer

Pat Arnow

A new poll finds most New Yorkers are ashamed of the candidacies of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer for Mayor and Comptroller of New York City. The Siena College poll also finds that Governor Cuomo, in contrast, is enjoying a minor rebound with voters. 

The Siena poll finds a small percentage of New Yorkers say they are entertained by the Weiner and Spitzer candidacies, which have featured extensive personal information about the two. But two thirds say it’s embarrassing.  Anthony Weiner is viewed unfavorably by 80% of those surveyed, a record, says Siena College poll spokesman Steve Greenberg. 

“Absolutely astounding,” said Greenberg. “I mean, you don’t see numbers that hit 80.”

Greenberg says the previous record was held by Eliot Spitzer, who was viewed negatively by 79% of the public the week that he resigned as governor over a sex scandal.

Spitzer is now viewed negatively by 59% of New York state residents.

Greenberg says Governor Cuomo, meanwhile, is experiencing a slight rise in the polls, his first this year.

“The governor’s numbers have bounced back up,” says Greenberg, who says 65% now view Cuomo favorably, compared to 58% in June.

Cuomo also has improved his standing upstate, where now a majority of those asked have a favorable view of the governor. Back in June, slightly more upstaters had a negative opinion than a positive opinion of Cuomo.  

Since then, Cuomo has been spending a lot of time upstate. He’s held a white water rafting contest in the Adirondacks, fished on the St Lawrence River, and plans to go wine tasting in the Finger Lakes. He’s also driven his prize corvette around the NASCAR racing track in Watkins Glen, and shown off a customized motorcycle. 

Greenberg says that hasn’t hurt. He says when the governor arrives in an upstate city for an event he “controls the media” for the day.  

The governor has also been running television ads that positively showcase some of his agenda, including a special Moreland Commission he’s named to probe corruption.

Cuomo has not held a public event in New York City, however, in six weeks, and has held just two public events on Long Island.  Greenberg says the governor is wise to stay away from New York City politics right now.

“He doesn’t want to get embroiled,” said Greenberg. “And he doesn’t need to.”  

76% of New York City voters view Cuomo positively.

The poll also finds that New Yorkers, both downstate and upstate, continue to be evenly polarized over hydrofracking, which has been delayed in the state for over five years.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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