WSJ Poll: Cuomo Ratings Down Amid Probe

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 09:52 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating has fallen in the light of a federal investigation into his handling of an anti-corruption commission, a new poll shows.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll found that Cuomo’s favorability rating fell to 53 percent, which is the lowest figure since he took office in 2011 and 5 percentage points lower than four weeks ago.

But Cuomo still has a 31-point advantage over his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, in the November gubernatorial election, the Journal reported.

Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that the governor's administration interfered with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission, which Cuomo set up in July 2013 to investigate reports of public corruption.

After the governor disbanded the commission in March, a report by The New York Times found that his office had "deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him."

Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, told the Journal Cuomo has managed to keep "the controversy at arm's length in terms of its impact on his re-election prospects."

But he added: "There are a lot of clouds forming among people who are assessing what happened in Albany."

Cuomo, who has been talked about as a possible future presidential candidate, has maintained that his staff only offered advice to the commission which acted independently, the Journal said.

Sixty-two percent of people polled, however, said Cuomo's staff should not have given their opinion to the commission while 52 percent said that the input from the governor’s office was unethical.

The poll also revealed that Astorino, the Westchester County executive, dropped a point to 23 percent since the last poll in July.

"It's only August, and we continue to be confident that when voters start paying attention in the fall, they will be looking for an alternative," Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud told the Journal.

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