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Politics and Government

Cuomo plateaus in the polls

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, five years into his term in office, has reached a plateau with voters. About half still like and support him, the other half, have reservations, according to a new Siena College poll.

Cuomo has lost 20 points in popularity among New Yorkers since 2011, his first year in office. Then, nearly three-quarters of people in the state backed him. But since spring, around 50 percent of New Yorkers have a favorable view of Cuomo overall, and only around 40 percent think he’s doing a good job in office, according to Steve Greenberg, with the Siena College Research Institute.

“Cuomo, after nearly five years in office, has hit a new plateau,” said Greenberg.

The numbers have remained mired despite overall popularity for two of the governor’s signature programs, gun control, known as the NY SAFE Act, and raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour.

But there are other topics that unsettle New Yorkers, including ongoing controversy over the implementation of the Common Core learning standards, uneasiness over the economy, and concerns about corruption, in a year where the two leaders of the legislature were arrested and face trial in November. 

Cuomo has not been accused of any wrong doing, the education department is not under the control of the governor, though Cuomo has inserted himself into arguments with the state’s teachers unions. New York’s economy has been slowly improving, and the governor is giving away another $1.5 billion in economic development funds to three upstate regions who win an ongoing competition. But Greenberg says the governor is the best known political figure in New York, and bears the brunt of any public dissatisfaction.

“It’s sort of like the manager of a baseball team,” Greenberg said. “Sometimes the manager gets credit when he doesn’t deserve it, sometimes the manager gets blamed when he doesn’t deserve it.”

The poll also asked about how voters think of Sen. Charles Schumer, who’s been in office since 1999. It found that around 60 percent of New Yorkers still like Schumer and around half are ready to reelect him to a fourth term in 2016.