New Yorkers strongly support the broad strokes of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s third-year agenda, giving him a 71 percent favorability rating to start the new year, a Siena College poll released this morning found.

On what has been the governor’s signature issue in the first two weeks of 2013 — gun control — New York voters overwhelmingly support plans update the assault weapons ban of 1994 and limit high capacity magazines by a margin of 73 percent to 26 percent.

There is also strong support for increasing penalties on the use of illegal guns on school grounds, 91 percent to 8 percent.

The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, is viewed poorly by 57 percent of voters, the poll found.

“While this poll was conducted prior, during and after Cuomo’s gun proposal was made public and enacted, New
Yorkers – who view the NRA unfavorably by a 57-36 percent margin – overwhelmingly support the ban on
assault weapons and nearly unanimously support increasing penalties for purchasing illegal guns and using guns
on school grounds,” Siena College spokesman Steve Greenberg said.

Cuomo signed the nation’s first gun control measure into law on Tuesday, just a month after the Connecticut school shooting in December.

Support for gun control is strongest among New York City residents, with 87 percent backing New York’s plan to have strongest legislation in the country. But 60 percent of upstate voters, an area considered to be one more the more conservative parts of the state, also backed the new assault weapons ban and limitations on high-capacity magazines, according to the poll’s crosstabs.

Other Cuomo initiatives, such as raising the state’s minimum wage continues to enjoy wide-ranging support, up to 83 percent of voters approve.

By a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent, voters back a statewide plan to publicly finance campaigns. Requiring the disclosure of campaign donations above $500 within 48 hours is approved of by voters 79 percent to 18 percent.

A “bar exam” for teacher competence is backed by voters as well, 76 percent to 23 percent.

And decriminalizing up to 15 grams of marijuana also enjoys New Yorkers’ support, 62 percent to 35 percent.

“There’s no question that Cuomo had many proposals supported by large majorities,” Greenberg said. “On
increasing the minimum wage, there is overwhelming bipartisan support.”.

In the state Senate, which is now ruled by a coalition of Republicans and five independent Democrats, New Yorkers are optimistic the plan might work. Fifty-seven percent of voters believe the coalition will lead to a working chamber, while 34 percent said it could lead to dysfunction.

The Siena poll of 676 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 10 through Jan. 15 and has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

SNY0113 Crosstabs by Nick Reisman