Paterson Hits Low; Cuomo Solidifies His Standing

New York Gov. David Paterson's (D) numbers are low--very low. In fact, they're all-time low opinion numbers for a New York governor, several news outlets are reporting.  According to a Quinnipiac poll released today, New Yorkers disapprove of Paterson's job performance 60 percent to 28 percent; they disapprove of the way he is handling the state budget 70 percent to 19 percent; 27 percent view him favorably, while 55 percent view him unfavorably; 53 percent say he should announce he's not running for reelection. Paterson's numbers have been bad for a while, and the new data doesn't reveal anything staggeringly new.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, has solidified his good standing with New Yorkers, likely due to his high-profile involvement in the AIG bonuses saga, as more New Yorkers have made up their minds about him.

Cuomo, at this point, is the outright favorite to become the state's next governor--he bests Paterson by an astonishingly wide margin (61 percent to 18 percent) in a theoretical primary and tops Rudy Giuliani 53 percent to 36 percent in a possible general election, according to Quinnipiac--but what's significant about today's polling is that more New Yorkers have formed opinions on him. In Quinnipiac polls released Dec. 23 and Jan. 14, back when he was under consideration as a potential replacement for Hillary Clinton in the Senate, 32 percent of New Yorkers hadn't heard enough about Cuomo to say whether they viewed him favorably or not. Today, that figure has dropped to 17 percent, while his favorability rating has climbed from 57 percent to 63 percent (even as his unfavorable ratings rose from 10 percent to 17 percent).

And that means Cuomo will be more likely to retain his good polling status further into the 2010 election cycle.