Governor Andrew Cuomo; AP Photo
By Joseph Spector Albany Bureau Chief ALBANY Gov. Andrew Cuomo's favorability rating slipped for the third consecutive month and hit its lowest point since he took office in 2011, a Siena College poll Monday found.
His popularity fell to 64 percent positive, down from 72 percent in December, the poll said. Cuomo has faced criticism from gun owners for the hasty passage of a new gun-control law in January.
The poll, however, showed a majority of voters support the law, by a margin of 61 percent to 35 percent. That's down four-percentage points from last month. "With a better than two-to-one favorability rating that would be the envy of most elected officials or politicians, Andrew Cuomo continues to be very popular with New York voters,"
Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. "However, for the third consecutive month, Cuomo has seen a small drop in his favorability rating, and is now viewed favorably by fewer voters than at any time since he's been governor."
The poll also showed a significant regional disparity in how Cuomo is viewed. His favorability was 73 percent in New York City, 69 percent in the downstate suburbs and 51 percent upstate. And while the gun law was popular statewide, 57 percent of upstate voters opposed it, compared to 39 percent who supported it, the poll found.
Only in recent months has Cuomo's approval rating dropped significantly. It's been higher than 70 percent for most of his first term. A Quinnipiac University poll in January said the Democratic governor's approval fell from 74 percent to 59 percent.
A Marist College poll last week put Cuomo's approval at 59 percent statewide and 49 percent upstate.
Cuomo faces re-election next year. Fifty-four percent of voters said they were prepared to re-elect him. Thirty-seven percent said they would prefer someone else.
"Although the gun law has certainly created a stir across the state, particularly upstate, the majority of voters are with the governor on guns," Greenberg said.
Cuomo has been rumored as potential presidential candidate in 2016. Forty-nine percent of said Cuomo is doing what's best for the state, and 47 percent said he's doing what's best for his political future. The fall this month was to a decline with some Democrat and independents, not Republicans, Greenberg said, as well as New York City and upstate voters.
Voters, however, largely supported Cuomo's legislative agenda, which includes increasing the minimum wage and public campaign financing. By a 43 percent to 39 percent margin, voters opposed the state moving forward with hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling technique. That's compared to a 40 percent to 40 percent tie last month.
The Siena poll was conducted March 3-7 to 803 registered voters. It had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. You can view the poll here. (http://www.siena.edu/pages/1167.asp)