New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's approval rating slid under 60 percent in the wake of changes to the state's gun laws, a new poll released Wednesday shows, but Empire State voters still approve of the Democrat's job performance by a more-than-2-to-1 margin.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Cuomo's approval rating down to 59 percent, a marked decrease from the 74-percent approval Cuomo recorded last month. Twenty-eight percent of voters now disapprove of Cuomo's job performance, up from only 13 percent in December.
In an interview with WGDJ-AM in Albany on Tuesday, Cuomo reportedly told the New York Post's Fred Dicker that he expected his poll numbers to drop after passing the gun measures. "We know what the polls say on this because we've done it," he said.
Cuomo's approval rating fell most sharply among Republicans, from 68 percent in December, to 44 percent now. Among Democrats, it slipped from 82 percent to 74 percent. And among independents, it dropped from 70 percent to 54 percent. The decrease in Cuomo's approval rating among men was 20 percentage points, more than double the 9-point decrease among women.
The slide was also more pronounced among Upstate voters, from 68 percent in December, to just 51 percent now. In New York City, his approval rating fell from 80 percent to 66 percent, and in suburban areas outside the city, it is down from 74 percent to 64 percent.
Cuomo "had the political capital to spend when he set out to pass the toughest gun control laws in the nation," said Mickey Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It is possible that the gun law cost him some of that political capital, but a 2-1 job approval rating still makes him the envy of most governors."
Carroll also noted that Cuomo "lost some Republican support" after he signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage in the state in 2011, "but he got it back."
Carroll's analysis echoed Cuomo's own comments in a separate radio interview Tuesday with WCNY-FM in Albany. In that interview, Cuomo also predicted that his poll numbers would slip as a result of the new gun laws, according to a report on the New York news website Capital.
"God gives us political capital to spend," he said.
Overall, voters were mixed on the gun package signed into law by Cuomo. Thirty-four percent say the changes made in the law "go too far in terms of restricting the rights of gun owners," while 30 percent say the changes do not "go far enough in terms of protecting public safety." Another 30 percent say the changes are "about right." Quinnipiac did not directly ask respondents whether they supported or opposed the law.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted Jan. 23-28, surveying 1,127 registered voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.9 percentage points.