Kathy Hochul is off to a respectable start as New York's governor, with nearly half of New Yorkers approving of her job performance, according to a new poll -- and she would handily beat the man she replaced, Andrew Cuomo, in a crowded Democratic primary next year.
But at the same time, less than four in 10 New Yorkers say the state is headed in the right direction, the second-lowest number in the last decade.
Those are the findings of a new Marist Poll released Tuesday, offering the most detailed look yet into how Hochul has done since Cuomo's resignation in late August, and how much opposition she faces to winning a full term next year.
Hochul has a 49% approval rating from New York residents, with 31% disapproving and 20% unsure, the poll found. Her approval rating matches Cuomo's from early this year, but is substantially lower than where his stood in the summer of 2020, at the peak of his pandemic-era popularity.
In a three-way primary with Attorney General Letitia James and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Hochul would win easily, at 44% to 28% for James and 15% for Williams.
But in a four-way race with James, Williams and Cuomo, Hochul would still dominate, at 36%, versus 24% for James, 19% for Cuomo and 9% for Williams.
Cuomo's team insists the former governor has no intention of running again. People appear fine with that; 77% of adults in the Marist poll said they don't want to see him run again. Even in his usual bastions -- New York City and non-white voters -- a Cuomo comeback doesn't manage even 30% support.
The telephone survey of 822 adults was conducted Oct. 4-7 and has a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points. Within the sample, there were 389 registered Democrats, with a margin of error in that group of 6.9 percentage points.