Cuomo Leads Paladino In Marist Poll

September 24, 2010 Updated Sep 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Cuomo Leads Paladino In Marist Poll

September 24, 2010 Updated Sep 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM EDT

September 24, 2010 by Marist Poll:

In the race for New York governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo receives the support of 52% of likely voters statewide compared with 33% for Republican Carl Paladino. Rick Lazio, on the Conservative line, garners the support of 9% of likely voters. 6% are unsure.

Not surprisingly, Cuomo receives the backing of 81% of Democratic voters who are likely to cast their ballot on Election Day. However, he is also buoyed by a notable proportion of likely Republican voters — 19%. Paladino garners the support of more than six in ten Republicans who are likely to vote — 63%, but only 11% of likely Democratic voters. Looking at likely voters who are not enrolled in any party, Cuomo receives 44% to 33% who plan to cast their ballot for Paladino. Lazio receives the support of 14% of likely non-enrolled voters, 11% of the likely Republican vote, and 4% of Democrats who are likely to vote.

Many likely voters who consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party back Paladino. 69% report this to be the case while 14% back Lazio, and 13% support Cuomo. 4% are unsure.

“Andrew Cuomo is ahead, and right now, this is not a close race,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “He is being bolstered by the Lazio factor, but he is just above 50% among likely voters, and you can’t overlook the enthusiasm Republicans are bringing to this election cycle.”

Regionally, Cuomo runs best in New York City followed by the New York City suburbs. In the Big Apple, 65% of likely voters say they plan to vote for Cuomo while 23% report they will cast their ballot for Paladino. Lazio receives the support of just 6%. Moving to the suburbs, Cuomo garners a majority of likely voters in this region — 52% — while Paladino and Lazio net 30% and 16%, respectively. Upstate, Cuomo and Paladino receive the same support. Both Cuomo and Paladino take 43% of likely upstate voters. Just 7% of likely upstate voters say they will cast their ballot for Lazio. 7% are also unsure.

Carl Paladino
When likely voters who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate are thrown into the mix, Cuomo receives 53% of the vote compared with Paladino’s 34%. Lazio takes 10%, and 3% remain unsure.

Looking at the overall electorate, 55% of registered voters statewide support Cuomo while 29% say they back Paladino. Lazio receives the nod from just 10% of New York registered voters. 6% are unsure.

Cuomo and Paladino with Strong Support

Nearly six in ten likely voters — 59% — report they strongly support their choice for governor while more than one-fourth — 28% — somewhat support their candidate. 12% say they might vote differently.

Among likely voters who report they will back Andrew Cuomo for governor, 64% state they strongly support him, and 25% say they somewhat support him. 10%, on the other hand, might vote differently come Election Day.

Paladino’s supporters share a similar level of support. Looking at likely voters who support Paladino, 61% firmly back him, and 32% somewhat support him. 7% might change their minds and vote differently.

Rick Lazio (courtesy of Lazio.com)
Rick Lazio’s supporters aren’t as intense in their level of support. Only 30% of likely voters who support Lazio report they are unwavering in their support while 28% are somewhat behind him. 40% may alter their decision before Election Day and choose another candidate.

About Two-thirds For Candidate

When asked whether they selected their respective candidate because they are for him or against his opponents, 66% of likely voters say they are for their respective candidate while 32% report they are against the others. 2% are unsure.

While more than seven in ten Cuomo supporters — 72% — choose him because they are for him, more than a quarter of his backers — 26% — say they support Cuomo because they are against Paladino and Lazio. When compared with Cuomo supporters, fewer Paladino backers report they are voting for their candidate rather than against the other candidates for governor. 58% say they are for Paladino while 39% support him because they don’t want Cuomo or Lazio to win. Although a majority of likely voters who plan to support Lazio — 53% — are backing him because they think he is the best candidate, 45% are doing so because they are against his opponents.

The Enthusiasm Factor: Majority of Republicans Express Highest Enthusiasm

Are registered voters in New York State enthusiastic about voting this November? 38% report they are very enthusiastic.

Republicans are expressing more enthusiasm about casting their ballot this fall than are Democrats. 51% of registered Republican voters say they are very enthusiastic. This compares with 34% of Democratic voters and 31% of non-enrolled voters who report the same.

Among registered voters who back Paladino — 58% — are very enthusiastic . This compares with 30% of Cuomo’s supporters and 32% of Lazio’s backers who share this degree of excitement.

Voters Dissatisfied with Albany … Want a New Direction for the State

Voters are displeased with the way state government in Albany is run. More than seven in ten registered voters statewide — 72% — believe the way things are run need major changes while 13% think state government is broken and beyond repair. 15% are more forgiving and report that state government’s modus operandi needs minor changes. Less than 1% of the electorate say no changes are needed.

Little has changed on this question since Marist last asked it in May. At that time, seven in ten voters — 70% — believed major changes were needed in Albany, and 16% said Albany was beyond repair. 13% thought minor changes needed to be applied, and 1% stated all was well with how Albany was being run.

With voters expressing such a high level of dissatisfaction with state government, it’s probably little surprise that 73% of registered voters think the state needs to be re-directed. 24%, however, believe New York is moving in the right direction. 3% are unsure.

When Marist last asked voters in New York about the direction of the state, a similar proportion — 72% — thought the state needed a new course while 22% said it was on the right path. 6%, at the time, were unsure.

Eyewitness News will have complete coverage on the impact of the Marist Poll, and the visit of Andrew Cuomo in Buffalo. For more information on the poll, go to "News Links" at wkbw.com