Cuomo Ahead But "Ducking" Fix for State Budget: Poll

Democrat favored more than 2-to-1 over Republican challengers

By MICHAEL GORMLEY
|  Wednesday, Sep 1, 2010  |  Updated 2:06 PM EDT
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Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Cuomo.

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Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is still the runaway favorite to become New York's next governor, but that doesn't mean voters are pleased with him or his campaign so far.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found the Democrat is favored more than 2-to-1 over Republicans Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino.

Lazio and Paladino face each other in a Sept. 14 Republican primary, but a head-to-head matchup hasn't yet been released by Quinnipiac, which continues to poll New Yorkers. Against Cuomo, however, there is little difference between the Republicans. Cuomo tops Lazio 57 percent to 25 percent and Paladino 60-23.

The poll also showed most voters think Cuomo isn't saying enough about how he would fix New York's budget problems. Most voters think he's ducking his responsibility as a candidate.

"Almost two-third of New Yorkers would like him to say more," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac poll.

Voters were asked if Cuomo was deferring to Gov. David Paterson — as Cuomo has said in the past when questioned about his refusal to comment on controversial issues — or "ducking his responsibility." Forty-four percent said he was ducking while 32 percent felt he was deferring to Paterson, a Democrat who isn't seeking a full term this fall. The remaining 24 percent were unsure or had no answer.

Sixty-three percent of voters said Cuomo hasn't done enough to explain how he would fix New York's budget problems.

"It's understandable that people don't know Andrew's budget views because that's not the job of the attorney general," said Cuomo's campaign spokesman, Josh Vlasto. "On campaign positions, no candidate has put forward the 250-page policy book, online videos and policy papers that Andrew has. He has spoken out forcefully in favor of right-sizing government and cutting spending, and against raising taxes and borrowing as ways to solve the budget crisis."

Cuomo announced his campaign in May and had begun fundraising months before.

As attorney general, Cuomo still has 69 percent approval rating.

The poll also finds 75 percent of voters disapprove of the job the state Legislature is doing, which ties the record low disapproval rating. Most New Yorkers also said it's time for their senator and Assembly member to go. All 212 seats are up for election this fall.

The poll questioned 1,497 registered voters from Aug. 23-29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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