Most Voters Still Don't Want Paterson to Resign: Poll

Even voter approval ratings for Cuomo are going down

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    NEW YORK - MARCH 05: New York Governor David Paterson waits to speak at the grand opening of The Palm Bar and Grille at John F. Kennedy International Airport March 5, 2010 in the Queens borough of New York City. The embattled governor is being investigated by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over various allegations. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Paterson

    Most New York voters want Gov. David Paterson to carry out the remainder of his term despite the scandals surrounding him, according to the latest in a series of polls on the matter.

    Today's Marist poll found that 68 percent of registered voters in the state want Paterson to finish his term, compared with 28 percent who want him to resign. Four percent of those polled aren't sure.

    Voter support for Paterson inched up slightly from one conducted by Marist early last week, when 66 percent thought the beleaguered governor should remain in office.

    Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said these poll numbers do not necessarily indicate a "ringing endorsement of Governor Paterson."

    "Instead, the jury is still out on Paterson in the court of public opinion until further information is known,” Miringoff said. "In the short run, voters are giving him the benefit of the doubt.”

    That depends on who you ask. 

    A Quinnipiac University poll conducted on Friday found only 46 percent of voters wanted Paterson to stay in office and 42 percent wanted him out. Forty-eight hours earlier, the same pollsters found much higher support for the governor; 61 percent wanted him to finish his term. The sudden 19 percentage point drop in two days likely had to do with voter exposure to the barrage of daily headlines accusing Paterson in yet another new scandal or laying out the details as others unfolded, pollsters say.

    There hasn't been another Quinnipiac poll on whether Paterson should stay or go since Friday, but the Marist one released today, if comparable, indicates voter support for the governor may be back on the upswing.

    Paterson's dismal poll numbers overall have been the norm for months, including before the scandals broke, but another new Marist poll indicates he may not be the only pol negatively affected by having the spotlight on the governor's seat.

    Approval ratings for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, widely considered the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, dropped 13 points in two weeks from 67 percent to 54 percent.

    The timing comes two weeks after Cuomo began the investigation into Paterson's role in a domestic-violence case against his  former top aide David Johnson.