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Poll gives Cuomo mixed reviews

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A new poll shows voters have mixed opinions about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The Siena College survey finds New Yorkers think Cuomo has made the state a better place in the nine years since he was elected governor. They give him high points for accomplishments like protecting the rights of New Yorkers, ensuring accessibility to health care and a high-quality education, and effectively managing state government.

But his job performance rating of 36% is the lowest it’s ever been. And his favorability rating of 43% matches a previous low point set in February, said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.  

“It’s good news and bad news for the governor,” Greenberg said. “It’s a little yin and yang.” 

Greenberg said the numbers could possibly be attributed to voter fatigue with a governor who is serving a third term in an era where news cycles move very quickly.

The poll finds the popularity of the New York State Legislature is higher than previous years, with 45% viewing the Senate favorably, and 43% having a positive view of the Assembly.

Most voters supported almost all of the major items approved by the Legislature in the recently concluded session. Among those items, 84% of voters approved ending a religious exemption for vaccinations; 73% back action to combat climate change; and 65% support the ban on single-use plastic bags.

The only measure approved in 2019 that is unpopular with voters is a new law to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, with only 43% overall supporting the law. 

Some other New York politicians fared even more poorly than Cuomo.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, is viewed favorably by just 41% of the electorate. And New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also running for president, is viewed in a positive light by just 26% of all voters statewide and by just 38% of Democrats.

Greenberg said de Blasio’s numbers are lower than those of President Donald Trump, who has been consistently unpopular in New York. In the poll, Trump is viewed favorably by 35% of those surveyed.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer remains the most popular politician in New York; the Democrat has a 53% approval rating.