A new poll suggests Attorney General Cuomo's public take -- or lack thereof -- on state budget issues leaves much to be desired among prospective voters.
"Imagine that: Voters want to hear more from a politician," Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Maurice Carroll said of the poll released today. The poll shows that despite Cuomo's strong lead in the gubernatorial race, 64 percent of voters want him to be more involved in the state's budget problems and elaborate on his own plans to fix them.
"Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been too quiet on how we would solve Albany's budget mess, which he'll inherit - if he's elected," Carroll said in a statement.
Broken down by party, the majority of both Democrats and Republicans thinks Cuomo "isn't explaining enough:" Republicans (68-20 percent), Democrats (58-26 percent) and indepenents (71-15 percent) want to hear more about his ideas for fixing New York's budget problems.
The poll also asked respondents for their opinions on why Cuomo hasn't been more specific on his plans. Thirty-eight percent of voters think Cuomo is "politely deferring to the current governor on the budget" and 41 percent think he is "ducking his responsibility as a candidate to make his positions known," as the question was phrased.
The poll was based on a survey of 1,592 New York State registered voters polled between June 15-20, of which 485 were registered Republicans. The survey's margin of error was 2.5 percentage points; for Republican respondents, it was 4.5 percentage points.
Cuomo likely believes he doesn't have to say more about the budget because the polls show he'll probably win anyway. Today's Quinnipiac poll results still show him far and away ahead of the other candidates, with a 72-16 percent approval rating. But because so many voters expect him to win, they expect him to step up now with solutions -- will his numbers drop if he doesn't?
"Even Democrats are impatient to hear from the Attorney General who would be governor," Carroll said.
"To put it more bluntly, is Cuomo just politely deferring to Gov. David Paterson, who is up to his ears in this year's budget mess, or is he ducking? New Yorkers split down the middle. The percentage giving him credit for minding his manners matches the percentage who think he's ducking his responsibilities."
The poll also found that incumbent U.S. senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand continue to lead their Republican opponents. Schumer has a 60-28 percent approval rating and Gillibrand 44-27 percent.
"Anonymity afflicts all the Republicans--even Rick Lazio," Carroll said in the press release, commenting on the poll's findings that 87 and 90 percent of voters say they "don't know enough" about Gillibrand's opponents Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass.