N.Y. Loves Cuomo But Prefers Hillary for 2016
Americans elected 26 new governors in 2010, but perhaps none are as popular as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who earns an astronomical 73-percent approval rating in a new Quinnipiac University poll released early Wednesday. New Yorkers are so high on their new governor that the Democrat's approval rating among Republicans -- 69 percent -- is higher than the overall approval rating for any governor in the seven states polled by Quinnipiac.
Fully four-in-five Democrats approve of how Cuomo is handling his job as governor, as do 72 percent of independents. Cuomo bridges other gaps than partisanship, earning 73 percent approval among both male and female voters. Seventy-four percent of white voters, 75 percent of blacks and 69 percent of Hispanics also approve of his job performance.
Cuomo began his term in 2011 with a wide gap between the percentage who approved of his early job performance (56 percent in a poll conducted less than two months into his term) and those who initially disapproved (15 percent). But unlike most of his colleagues in the gubernatorial class of 2010, Cuomo has consolidated his popularity. Now, only 16 percent of voters disapprove.
Compare Cuomo to some of his 2010 classmates in states also surveyed by Quinnipiac. In each of the four other states that elected new governors in 2010 -- Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- Cuomo is the only one with a net-positive approval rating in the most recent poll, let alone one so overwhelmingly favorable.
But despite New Yorkers' fondness for their new governor, they are skeptical about Cuomo's presidential prospects in 2016. Just 40 percent think Cuomo would make a good president, compared to 30 percent who do not, and 30 percent who are undecided. And only 36 percent of voters say they want Cuomo to run for president, compared to 39 percent who say they don't.
Empire State voters prefer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who served as New York's junior senator for eight years, when it comes to a White House ticket. Sixty-one percent of voters think Clinton would make a good president, and asked who would make the better president, Clinton is widely preferred over Cuomo, 54 percent to 30 percent. Democratic voters choose Clinton by an even stronger margin, 67 percent to 21 percent.