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Cuomo Plateaus in Polls

Times Union Website Crime Confidential Blog

Governor Cuomo, five years into his term in office, has reached a plateau with voters. About half still like and support him, the other half have reservations.

Cuomo has lost 20 points in popularity among New Yorkers since 2011, his first year in office. Then, nearly three quarters of people in the state backed him. Since spring, though, around 50% of New Yorkers have a favorable view of Cuomo overall , and only around 40% think he’s doing a good job in office, says Steve Greenberg, with the Siena College Research Institute.

“Cuomo, after nearly five years in office, has hit a new plateau,” said Greenberg.

The numbers have remained mired despite over all popularity for two of the governor’s signature programs, gun control, known as the SAFE Act, and raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour.

But there are other topics that unsettle New Yorkers, including ongoing controversy over the implementation of the Common Core learning standards, uneasiness over the economy, and concerns about corruption, in a year where the two leaders of the legislature were arrested and face trail in November. Cuomo has not been accused of any wrong doing, the education department is not under the control of the governor, though Cuomo has inserted himself into arguments with the state’s teachers unions.  New York’s economy has been slowly improving, and the governor is giving away another one and half billion dollars in economic development funds to three upstate regions who win an on gong competition.  But Greenberg says the governor is the best known political figure in New York, and bears the brunt of any public dissatisfaction.

“It’s sort of like the manager of a baseball team,” Greenberg said. “Sometimes the manager gets credit when he doesn’t deserve it, sometimes the manager gets  blamed when he doesn’t deserve it.”

The poll also asked about how voters think of Senator Chuck Schumer, who’s been in office since 1999. It found that around 60% of New Yorkers still like Schumer and around half are ready to reelect him to a fourth term in 2016.   

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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