Poll: Cuomo Approval Sky-High

By Jennifer Epstein
|  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 8:47 AM EDT
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As buzz about a potential 2016 presidential campaign spreads, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating is the strongest it’s been since he took office at the beginning of the year, a poll released Wednesday finds.

The Democrat’s overall approval rating in a Quinnipiac University survey conducted last week, just as Cuomo and the state legislature were grappling on a same-sex marriage bill he signed into law on Friday, is 64 percent. Just 19 percent of registered voters in the state disapprove of how he’s handling his job as governor, while another 17 percent say they don’t know.

Cuomo this week opened the door to running in 2016, but said, “I’m not going to engage in this conversation. I’m not going to engage or fuel the speculation. I’ve got a very important job to do; we just started doing it.”

Riding high on the signing of the same-sex marriage bill, Cuomo gets his best marks since taking office in January, tying an April Quinnipiac poll, where 64 percent approved, 16 percent disapproved and 21 percent didn’t know. A poll released at the start of June had the governor’s approval rating a bit lower, at 61 percent. His approval rating is higher than the that of same-sex marriage — in a piece of the Qunnipiac poll released Tuesday, 54 percent of New York voters say they support the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state, while 40 percent oppose it.

Cuomo gets the support of 75 percent of Democrats surveyed for the new poll, as well as 61 percent of New York independents. Even among Republicans, he gets the support of the majority – 53 percent approve, while 26 percent disapprove.

But even while New Yorkers approve of Cuomo in large numbers, they aren’t necessarily raving about his job performance. Asked to give him a letter grade on an A-to-F scale, just 13 percent give him an A, while 48 percent give him a B and 26 percent give him a C. Seven percent give him a D and another 2 percent give him an F.

Cuomo’s numbers put him far above other governors whose states have been surveyed by Quinnipiac in recent months. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, has an approval rating of 55 percent in a poll released Wednesday. Neighbor Chris Christie, New Jersey’s Republican governor, meanwhile, got the support of 44 percent of his state’s voters in a Quinnipiac poll released last week, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, is doing even worse, with an approval rating of 38 percent.

The New York poll was conducted June 20-26 and surveyed 1,317 registered voters. The error margin is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

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