Almost two-thirds of New York voters reward Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo with a positive job approval rating after a legislative session that included an on-time budget with reduced spending, tightened ethics rules, a property tax cap, and passage of his bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
|Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push for same-sex marriage won despite strong resistance from the Catholic Church. (Getty Images Photo)
Voters approved of Cuomo’s first six months in office 64 percent to 19 percent, matching his previous best in April, according to a survey that Quinnipiac University released today. The positive feedback is the highest for an Empire State governor since July 2002, when George Pataki’s snagged a 66-18 percent positive report card from voters.
One of the more interesting findings of the poll is that white Catholic voters approve of the 53-year-old Cuomo by almost 3-to-1, or 62 percent to 22 percent, despite the Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to the gay marriage bill, which the Senate passed Friday and Cuomo signed shortly thereafter.
“It’s up, up and away for super-Andrew after the close of the legislative session,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Governor Cuomo’s job approval is high, even among Republicans, and almost 3-1 among Catholics.
“Cuomo has the same economic problems as governors in other states polled by Quinnipiac University, but somehow he outscores them all,” Carroll said.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan led the state’s eight Catholic bishops in fighting the gay marriage law in the contentious negotiations in the run-up to its passage. After the law was passed, the bishops issued a statement saying they feared it will open the door to legislation against churches, although the law itself exempts churches from being forced to perform the marriages.
The telephone poll of 1,317 voters, conducted June 20 to June 26, spanned the period in which the Democratic governor built a coalition of state senators that included four Republicans and all but one member of his party to get the 33-29 Senate passage of the law.
Republicans also gave Cuomo positive marks, 53 percent to 26 percent. His approval among voters in his own party is a predictable 75-13 percent, while independents give him the nod at 61-19 percent, and voters in union households endorse his performance at 63-20 percent.
In two separate questions about Cuomo, New York State voters say:
- They like him as a person 64-12 percent, no matter what they think of his policies.
- They like his policies 62-24 percent, no matter what they think of him personally.
Cuomo’s appeal among voters ran higher than several other first-term governors, Quinnipiac noted. New Jersey’s GOP Gov. Chris Christie had a 44 percent to 47 percent rating as of June 21; Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott, 29 percent to 57 percent as of May 25; and Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich, 38 percent to 49 percent as of May 18.
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