If the 2010 gubernatorial race were held today, 43 percent of RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll respondents say they would vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo placed second with more than one-quarter of the vote.
Gov. David Paterson has vowed to run next year for election to a full term as New York governor. But with low poll numbers and pressure from the White House to withdraw from the race, he could face a challenge within his own party. Fewer than 10 percent of RBJ respondents said they would vote for Paterson.
Meanwhile, Republicans are weighing prospective candidates for their bid to regain control of the governor’s mansion, with former Rep. Rick Lazio jumping into the race last week. Lazio, who once represented a Long Island district in Congress, garnered 5 percent of the RBJ poll vote.
More than 1,050 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Sept. 28 and 29.
If the 2010 election for governor were held today, whom would you vote for?
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: 43%
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo: 28%
Gov. David Paterson: 9%
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: 8%
Former Rep. Rick Lazio: 5%
Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi: 3%
What is your political affiliation?
Here are some readers’ comments:
Paterson is a sham. He talked big on fiscal conservancy but never delivered. In fact, he increased the state budget 9 percent. Seriously? He’s running for re-election? Based on what? Giuliani and Bloomberg are the only guys on the list who have practiced what they preach. They both took tough stands and transformed New York City. And that approach is sorely needed in Albany!
—Ben Murphy, founder, TheFatherLife.com
Hello, it’s time to wake up! It’s David Paterson that’s telling it straightforward, like it is, and bringing forth the issues and solutions that few politicians dare tackle in New York State. It’s time to reward good behavior and good leadership in New York. Thank you, David.
—Jeffrey B. Larson
This state requires someone like Giuliani who has the capability to perform the duties of governor. He has a track record in New York City of turning around a bad situation. He also is not afraid of making decisions that some people don’t like. The producers are fleeing New York and there are fewer taxpayers paying more taxes for those whose benefits are increasing. What a business plan!
—Todd Black, Black’s Hardware
We need a successful businessperson to run the state and federal governments, someone who’s a leader, not a follower, and one who understands budgeting, return on investment, development and growth.
—Rich Calabrese Jr.
Giuliani would get my vote because of the way he handled 9/11. I think that he was a terrific leader in the midst of tragedy. Then again, maybe we just need to get away from politics and put a businessperson in the position. We need someone who is going to hear us, the constituents of New York State. There are many issues here in New York that need to be addressed. The political debates that drag on forever are getting very tiresome, and with little results.
—Pamela Carbone, Robert’s Gold Foil Stamping
Gov. Paterson has demonstrated that he is a fighter for the people of New York State through rough times and will continue until he is voted out of office. He will have my vote even if I have to write his name in the ballot on Election Day.
This state needs a fresh voice and a fresh start from this mess. None of the choices above would represent that.
Gov. Paterson has used his new office to confront difficult problems facing the state reasonably honestly and in the interest of the people of the state, often counter to the interests of his party. Residents of New York need such service. Others listed among your selections—Lazio, Cuomo, Suozzi, Giuliani, Bloomberg—are career politicians who put the interests of their own careers and those of their partisan and corporate cronies above those of the people they were elected and promised to serve. Cuomo and others see the governorship as a stepping stone to the presidency. New York needs a governor who puts honest service above personal and partisan ambition.
—Michael Leach, city of Rochester
While governance of New York appears impossible under the strain of our state’s horrific legislative gridlock, incompetence, unthinkable patronage, lack of transparency and intolerable compulsion to maintain the status quo, Andrew Cuomo’s political heritage and compulsive commitment to integrity represents our best hope to reshape the bankrupt policies, arrogance and disregard for the constituency that have so dominated our landscape for decades.
—Bruno A. Sniders, Webster, Alexander Communications
There is only one choice who has been able to alienate every constituency. He has drawn the wrath of his own party and the president himself. He is either totally inept (making him no worse than anyone else) or he is the only truthful messenger that should not be shot. As I have found out, you cannot turn the ship around if no one believes in you regardless of what position you may have. But, every other boot-licking politico has run us aground since Mario Cuomo threw up his hands and cried "Silver and Bruno will be the death of me!" Actually, that might have been Pataki, or Spitzer, but not Paterson so far. As voters, we have proven how poorly we pick them. Here is our chance at redemption. We can elect an unelected and possibly unelectable candidate and finally realize the dream of the Empire State. Or, we can go back to business as usual also known as being "The Fallen Empire State."
—Bill Lanigan, Chamberlin Rubber
All of the above listed will give us more of the same. None is a good choice especially for our region.
—Antonino Barbagallo, Foto-AB Inc.
I wanted Rudy Giuliani for president. I was sure he would beat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. So here’s my opinion. I’m a Conservative for small government, personal responsibility and a strong military. Republican candidates generally fit best with my ideology. I also feel strongly that the free market assigns opportunity and wealth much better than government does. The candidate listed above who best fits my ideology is Rudy Giuliani. I only hope that the Democrat Party runs Gov. Paterson. He didn’t have to treat Caroline Kennedy the way he did. As we found out with the federal government when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency, we got a lot of dumb and crazy things. Now, with both houses of the NYS Senate and the governorship in Democratic hands, it’s time for more change we can believe in. It’s time for Rudy Giuliani.
—Clifford Jacobson, WebHomeUSA.com
Not very enfranchised with any of these choices. I’m looking for a person not beholden to any "special interests" who will work exclusively for the best interests of New York State.
Paterson’s heart is in the right place. He’s extremely intelligent and handled the transition from Spitzer nearly flawlessly. Criticism of his handling of the Senate appointment is wholly misplaced; he had no obligation at all to give any insights as to his thought processes before he’d made a decision. That said, his political instincts need work. He gave in too easily to the Legislature during the last budget cycle, and he did not make a case for all the new taxes and fees he proposed. I think he can learn these skills, and we need a man of his intelligence, candor and humor to lead the state of New York.
—Matthew D. Wilson
I’d probably go with Mr. Giuliani, but Mr. Cuomo would be a good choice, as well. Not for nothing, but party affiliation has gotten us “jack” so far, so it should be a person best qualified to lead. Unfortunately, Mr. Paterson does not show us that quality. We desperately need to have a governor <i>and</i> state Legislature that can and will work together to bring New York out of the spiral of economic depression we now are in. Mr. Paterson has demonstrated that he cannot achieve that. Also, if the voters have the sand in 2010, we’ll have a new set of legislators that just MAY be willing to tackle the kind of fiscal responsibility we need. Let’s hope so.
It’s all about the budget. Until New York gets its budget and onerous tax system under control, it will continue its slide into a Third World country!
—Joe Fabetes, Rochester
Unfortunately, with the duopoly that exists within American politics and especially New York State politics, we most likely will have a choice between two candidates who talk reform but who will maintain the status quo. Until, New Yorkers decide it’s time for "the Battle of Saratoga, Part II," and we vote in reformers to the majorities in the Legislature as well, electing one person as governor will have no substantive change to the current "State of Despair."
—Peter Short, J.J. Short Associates Inc.
After giving $200 for "school supplies" to low-income families without any tracking mechanism at all, Gov. Paterson has lost my confidence.
—Juan J. Vazquez, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara
Gov. Paterson is getting a bum steer. He has inherited the worst economic problems and had to solve them. His own party messed up the Senate. He took bold actions where the legislators messed up, where the legislators were nowhere to be seen, and where they loaded him with all the blame for their-inflicted problems. The noises from the Republicans, as “expected” from the opposing party, reflect the same lack of practical solutions. For 40 years they supported each tax increase and spending plan that passed the legislative process. Now they claim innocence. Nevertheless, Paterson did what was necessary (but not liked) to save the State. His opponents have done nothing to help that would qualify them to be governor of the State of New York. The wrath of the population and the legislation, both parties, of course, focuses on the governor. I would like to give Paterson the chance to be elected to governor and lead without the onus of “fill-in.” He has shown leadership in the worst times and I am hopeful that he will lead positively, where the naysayers have been obstructionists and spine-less to help solve the problems of the State.
—Ingo H. Leubner, Crystallization Consulting
Cuomo might be the only chance for fair representation we get here in upstate! I venture most of the others will go with NYC as the state! Not Gov. Paterson, perhaps, but he has shown other disconcern for upstate, and seems incompetent as well. I can’t believe he put up with all the guff (expletive deleted) from Congress!
—Hutch Hutchison, In T’Hutch Ltd.
Whatever the party affiliation, we desperately need a committed FISCAL CONSERVATIVE governor who has the chutzpa to stand firmly on his/her beliefs and effectively sell his agenda to the public, the Senate and the Assembly.
—Tom Shea, Thomas P. Shea Agency, Inc.
It’s easy to say who I WOULD NOT vote for, but choosing a candidate requires a lot more thought than clicking a radio button! I need to know the candidate’s stand on any number of important issues. At the end of the day, I am not likely to support ANYONE who has been a part of our state government in the past because they are all tainted. I will NEVER pull the lever for an incumbent again (governor or otherwise), until the mess in Albany is cleaned up!
If you can run New York City for eight years and that extremely tough constituency still thinks you are doing a decent job, then you are more than qualified to be New York governor.
I wish that we could elect someone who could cut state spending significantly to the point where we would be comparable to surrounding state tax rates. I believe this would stimulate business growth. Clearly, the deep-deficit spending model that N.Y. has been using for 60 years DOES NOT work.
—Ray McClure, Business Growth Services
One party control is akin to a dictatorship. Democrats are now the "one party" in control in NY, and are jamming their big spending and tax hikes down our throats. We need a fiscally conservative voice in Albany who is not a Democrat to restore some balance. Of the choices you suggest, Rick Lazio would offer the greatest contrast to what we now have.
—George Thomas, Ogden
It is a tough choice between Cuomo and Bloomberg for me. And I don’t think Suozzi is ready, even though he thinks he is.
—Jon Wilder, president, H & W Technology, LLC
It amazes me that any criticism of President Obama is assumed to be racist, but criticisms of Paterson are not considered racist because they are coming from the left. I actually feel sorry for the guy, he’s not getting a fair shake from his own party and I believe he is doing as well as Andrew Cuomo could do given that their policies are similar. The pressure on him to resign and leave the newly appointed lieutenant governor to be the new governor is offensive.
I have never voted Republican in any election but I would vote for Rudy Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg. I lived and worked in NYC while both were mayor and I have to say I was impressed with their no nonsense ability to get things done. I know it is often politics as usual and these guys have their own agendas and axes to grind but I have seen firsthand what each of them as done for their city. While I might not have always agreed with certain decisions, they took action and decisive action for the better is what this state needs. Bring it on, I say, before it is too late. Paterson is ill-equipped and let him run – he will fail and I doubt the Democrats will let that happen.
—M. Curtain, Rochester
Even if he could only do half of what he did for NYC as mayor, it would be a great change for the state. We need his leadership.
—John Coy, Brockport
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