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Politics and Government

Cuomo hits low point in new poll

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo promoting the property tax cap in an event on Long Island Wednesday.

A third poll in as many weeks shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo losing popularity with voters. This time it’s by Quinnipiac University, which puts the governor’s rating at it’s lowest ever.

The poll, which shows Cuomo at his lowest rating to date, with 44 percent of voters supporting him, also finds widespread  dissatisfaction with the on-going corruption scandals at the Capitol, says Quinnipiac’s Mickey Carroll.

“These numbers are lousy for Gov. Cuomo,” said Carroll. “They’re lousy for the legislature.”

While most say they like their own senators and assemblymembers, the majority of those surveyed say all of the sitting politicians should be voted out of office so that New York can begin again with a clean slate.

Carroll says the numbers paint a picture of general malaise in Albany as corruption scandals have ground on, and a hopelessness about whether things can be fixed. He says more than half disapprove of the way the governor has dealt with the ethical failings in state government, in a year where both leaders of the legislature have been arrested and charged with running of corruption schemes worth millions of dollars to benefit themselves and their family members.

“This doesn’t say Andrew Cuomo is unethical,” Carroll said. “It says he doesn’t handle it well."

The governor in the past has supported measures like public campaign financing and closing a loophole that allows limited liability corporations to skirt donation limits. But he has not pushed for them as end of session priorities, and has even said attempts by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to press ethics reform is coming too late in the session.

The poll finds voters also disapprove of the top down decision making, known as "three men in a room," where major deals are struck in private meetings by the governor and two majority party legislative leaders in each house. And Carroll says they make a link to the ethics issues, saying a more democratic system would help curb corruption.

Meanwhile, Cuomo was in the New York City suburbs, where he’s also lost ground on Wednesday. He’s promoting a 2 percent per year property tax cap that expires next year, but it is contingent on the survival of New York City’s rent laws, which expire in mid-June.

“It changed the norm in the state,” said Cuomo. “And it is working. It is working better than anyone could have imagined.”   

Cuomo also released a study that shows New Yorkers saved $7.6 billion in property taxes, since the cap was enacted three years ago, and that New Yorkers are set to save $3.3 billion in school property taxes alone this year.

The state Democratic Party, which the governor essentially runs, also launched a social media campaign to extend the tax cap. Republicans in the state Senate want to make the tax cap permanent. Cuomo is not pressing for that, but says he’d like it to be extended “as long as possible."

The governor says he hasn’t seen the new poll.