Siena Poll: Cuomo Takes A Hit, But Moreland Not On Voters’ Radar
Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding his office’s involvement in an anti-corruption panel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to hold a wide, 32 percentage-point lead over his Republican challenger Rob Astorino, a Siena College poll released this morning found.
It’s a small dent in a nevertheless commanding lead for Cuomo, who also holds a broad lead in fundraising and name recognition versus Astorino.
The poll found Cuomo would defeat Astorino, the Westchester County executive, 58 percent to 26 percent. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins netted 6 percent.
Siena last month found Cuomo led Astorino 60 percent to 23 percent.
Meanwhile, most voters rate jobs, not corruption, as the top issue this election year.
Cuomo’s favorability rating dipped slightly and his job approval is “under water” – below 50 percent, according to the poll.
Cuomo’s favorability rating fell from 61 percent to 57 percent between July and August.
Allegations that the governor’s office attempted to intervene in the commission’s work by blocking subpoenas to politically sensitive areas for Cuomo has had little impact on voters.
The poll found 32 percent of voters are familiar with the Moreland Commission, while 67 percent are not. Sixty-four percent of voters said they haven’t heard anything or not very much about the federal investigation into the meddling by Cuomo’s office and the shutting down of the commission.
Nevertheless, Cuomo’s job performance rating is down this month, with 44 percent of voters approving of his handling of he office, with 55 percent disapproving. In July, voters approved of Cuomo’s job performance, 50 percent to 49 percent.
By a margin of 51 percent to 38 percent, voters are prepared to re-elect Cuomo versus a generic “someone else”
The poll comes nearly a month after an exhaustive New York Times story showed how the governor’s office sought to direct or block subpoenas from the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, a panel the governor created last year to probe wrongdoing in the Legislature.
“Despite several weeks of bad press and the inability to control the federal prosecutor’s investigation, for the moment, with now 12 weeks until election day, Cuomo remains in electoral control of the election,” Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said.
“Astorino has yet to be able to gain traction with voters for either himself or his arguments against Cuomo.”
Astorino, meanwhile, remains little known to voters. The GOP challenger has a 24 percent approval rating and 57 percent saying they have no opinion of him.
In a sign of the hole Astorino remains in, 46 percent of suburban voters say they have not heard of him, while he garners only 24 percent of support among upstate voters — two key constituencies for any GOP candidate to win statewide.
The poll did not match Cuomo against Democratic primary opponent Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor who is challenging the governor from his political left.
However, the poll found Cuomo remains popular among 75 percent of self-identified liberals.
When it comes to issue, most voters – 28 percent – say jobs is the top issue, followed by taxes at 21 percent and education at 20 percent. Government corruption comes in fourth at 17 percent.
For supporters of Astorino, taxes and corruption are top two issues, the poll found.
In the races for comptroller and attorney general, both incumbent Democrats hold wide leads over their Republican challengers.
Forty-one percent of voters say they’d vote to re-elect Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, against his almost unheard of challenger, Republican Bob Antonacci.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would be re-elected 39 percent to 25 percent against a generic “someone else.” He faces Republican John Cahill this fall.
When it comes to a key metric for incumbents – whether the state is headed in the right direction – 47 percent voters believe it is, down slightly from 49 percent last month, the poll found.
The Siena poll of 863 likely voters was conducted from Aug. 4 through Aug. 7. It has margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.
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