Less than a week after a Quinnipiac University poll showed a significant drop in support for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the Democrat's successful push to pass new laws restricting gun ownership, a new Siena College poll suggests that any changes in how Empire State voters feel about their governor were more modest, and Cuomo remains very popular.
More than two-thirds of voters retain a favorable opinion of Cuomo, the Siena poll shows. His favorability rating of 67 percent is slightly lower than the 71-percent reading on that question in mid-January, during Cuomo's push for new gun laws, and the 72 percent he earned on that measure in December.
On the question of Cuomo's job performance, there has been little change over the past two months. In December, 60 percent said Cuomo was doing an "excellent" or "good" job. In January, 59 percent viewed his job performance favorably. The new poll shows Cuomo at 58 percent on that measure. On the other hand, the percentage of voters who think Cuomo is doing a "poor" job increased slightly, from 8 percent in December, to 13 percent now.
The Quinnipiac poll last week showed a more pronounced drop in Cuomo's approval rating, from 74 percent in December, to 59 percent in January. But Cuomo is still a safe bet for reelection, according to the Siena poll, with 56 percent saying they would vote to reelect him, down a tick from 60 percent last month.
"There is no question that Andrew Cuomo spent some of the political capital he had built up in two years as Governor with the recent passage of New York's new gun control law. On all three measures -- favorability, job performance and reelectability -- Cuomo's support among voters dropped a little over the last few weeks," Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg said. "The operative phrase, however, is 'a little.' He continues to be viewed favorably by more than two-thirds of voters and a clear majority continues to say he's doing an excellent or good job as governor and they are prepared to reelect him."
Republicans account for most of Cuomo's slide following the gun-law push. "For the first time since he's been governor, more Republicans (54 percent) now have an unfavorable view of Cuomo than have a favorable view (42 percent). And although a majority of upstaters continue to view Cuomo favorably, his favorability rating among upstaters fell to 54-41 percent, down from 61-31 percent last month," Greenberg added.
Siena, unlike Quinnipiac, asked voters simply if they supported or opposed the new gun laws: 65 percent support it, and just 30 percent oppose it. But the law does earn majority opposition from Republicans, and Upstate voters are closely divided: 50 percent support it, and 46 percent oppose it.
The Siena poll was conducted Jan. 27-31, surveying 1,154 voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points.