Two top legislative leaders continue to lose support among New York state voters.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating has dropped to its lowest point since he took office two-and-a-half years ago and more than half of respondents to a Siena College Research Institute poll want Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign from that high-ranking post.
The poll, released Monday, showed Cuomo’s favorability rating fell to 58-35 percent — down from 64-32 percent last month.
“His 58 percent favorable rating is the lowest it has ever been as governor — four points lower than the 62 percent rating he had two months ago — and the lowest it’s been since October 2010, one month before his election. His drop this month is more attributable to Democrats than to Republicans or independents,” said Siena College pollster Stephen Greenberg.
He added that for the fourth consecutive month and fourth time ever, more voters think Cuomo is doing a poor job as governor than an excellent job. Also, 62 percent of voters were prepared to re-elect Cuomo in December, but that level of support has fallen 10 points, and the percentage of those preferring ‘someone else’ has climbed 12 points.
When it comes to Silver, the SRI poll found that 52 percent feel he “should step down as Speaker.”
The Manhattan Democrat is deemed to have “failed the people of New York and (former Assemblyman Vito) Lopez’s accusers by not addressing the issue appropriately and by not being completely honest.” That refers to a sexual harassment charge against Lopez, who then left office. Thirty-two percent feel Silver’s approach to the Lopez situation “is not a reason for him to step down as Speaker,” even though he “might not have handled the situation ideally but he is not guilty of anything and he has apologized.”
“Silver, who represents a district in lower Manhattan and has led Assembly Democrats for nearly two decades, has never enjoyed a strong favorability rating from statewide voters, with more voters consistently viewing him unfavorably than favorably. However, at 20-43 percent, it is now better than two-to-one unfavorable,” Greenberg said.
On other topics:
• Cuomo’s “Tax-Free NY Initiative” was found to be largely unknown to most voters and among those with opinion on it are evenly divided.
“Despite the Governor and his cabinet doing roughly two solid weeks of events to promote his tax-free New York proposal, only about one-third of voters have read or heard a great deal or some about it, while two-thirds say they have heard or read nothing at all or not very much about it,” Greenberg said.
• Support for casino gambling amendment has lessened in the last month to 49-40 percent from 53-37 percent. That comes as Cuomo has struck deals with three Native American tribes, including the Seneca Nation of Indians, for continued operation of gambling facilities in three Upstate regions.
• Opposition to hydrofracking has increased a little to 44-37 percent from 41-39 percent last month, even as the issue continues to divide voters.
“There is a clear partisan divide as it is supported nearly two-to-one by Republicans, opposed two-to-one by Democrats and divides independents virtually evenly. A majority of Upstaters and plurality of New York City voters oppose fracking, while a plurality of downstate suburbanites wants to see fracking move forward,” Greenberg said.
Click here to see the complete poll.