New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating reached a record high as almost nine in 10 voters supported his handling of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, according to a survey by Quinnipiac University.
Voters approved of Cuomo’s job performance by 66 percent to 17 percent, with 86 percent favoring the way he dealt with the storms. The 66 percent rating for a New York governor matches the high set in July 2002 by Republican George Pataki, according to Quinnipiac.
“New York’s love affair with Governor Andrew Cuomo persists, perhaps helped along by Irene and Lee,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut, said in a statement. “Yes, we like him. Yes, we like his policies. Yes, we think he did a good job on the tropical storms.”
The survey of 1,016 registered voters was conducted by telephone from Sept. 13-18, when recovery efforts from the storms were under way. Irene caused an estimated $1 billion in damage, washed out six towns, damaged 150 major roads and wiped out 600 homes in the Catskills and Mid-Hudson region.
Cuomo, a 53-year-old Democrat who took office in January, said in a statement yesterday that he has created the Neighborhood Rebuilding Corps, a program that will put several hundred New Yorkers to work repairing areas damaged by the storm. The program, funded by a $16 million emergency grant from the U.S. Labor Department, will pay workers an average of $15 an hour, the statement said.
The poll results show 77 percent of voters perceive Cuomo as successful in his dealings with lawmakers after he pushed through the Legislature a same-sex marriage bill, an on- time budget and an overhaul of the state’s ethics laws. That figure is up from 61 percent in a June poll taken before the same-sex marriage bill passed.
The most recent poll also said 70 percent of voters want Cuomo to “speak out more forcefully” to convince lawmakers in Albany, the capital, to turn legislative redistricting over to an independent commission.
The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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