By Jon Campbell, Albany Bureau
ALBANY -- About half of New York voters think a new Senate partnership between Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference can be effective, according to a new poll Wednesday.
Quinnipiac University found 53 percent of likely New York voters think the Senate coalition "is a good way to create effective government," while 30 percent characterized it as a "power grab." Seventeen percent said didn't know or had no opinion.
Asked separately if those polled would prefer Democrats, Republicans or a coalition between the two to control the Senate chamber, 48 percent said they want a coalition-compared to 31 percent picking Democrats and 17 percent going for Republicans.
Republicans and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference announced last week that they would partner to share equal authority over the Senate chamber, relegating the main Senate Democratic conference to the minority despite making big gains on Election Day.
Simmering down all of the politics and ins and outs of the Senate coalition into a concise polling question is quite the task, and critics of the partnership will likely take issue with the wording. Still, Quinnipiac pollster Mickey Carroll said the new survey shows support for the IDC/GOP power-sharing agreement.
"Democrats in the coalition have been promised votes on some of their legislative priorities," Quinnipiac pollster Mickey Carroll said in a statement. "But they haven't been promised that the bills will pass. Let's see how sturdy this deal is. So far, voters like the coalition."December 5 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,302 New York State voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points
The latest poll also had plenty of good news for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Democrat received a 74 percent approval rating from voters, his highest ranking ever in a Quinnipiac poll.
A total of 80 percent said Cuomo's response to Superstorm Sandy was "excellent" or "good." Just 16 percent said "not so good" or "poor."
Voters were surveyed between Dec. 5 and 10, according to Quinnipiac. A total of 1,302 were polled, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
For more information on the poll, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-centers/polling-institute