Eighty percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll approve of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job performance after two years in office, with more than one-third saying they strongly approve. His approval rating among RBJ readers is little changed from a year ago.
Cuomo, a Democrat, has strong support among both Republicans and Democrats.
The governor is to deliver his third State of the State address Jan. 9. A year ago, Cuomo touted a number of accomplishments since he had taken office in January 2011, including an on-time budget with a reduction in overall spending, a 2 percent property tax cap and an income tax agreement that cut New York’s middle-class rates to the lowest levels in 58 years.
This year he delivered another on-time, balanced budget (accomplished in part by raising taxes on the wealthy). But his administration’s handling of the state’s hydraulic fracturing review has drawn criticism from both people on sides of the issue.
In a statewide poll conducted in late November by the Siena College Research Institute, 72 percent of respondents said they viewed Cuomo favorably. He received a thumbs-up from 76 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans taking part in the poll.
Roughly 510 readers participated in this week’s Snap Poll, conducted Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.
What is your opinion of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s overall job performance?
Strongly approve: 34%
Strongly disapprove: 5%
Strongly approve: 22%
Strongly disapprove: 4%
Strongly approve: 56%
Strongly disapprove: 3%
What is your political affiliation?
He talks a good game—and does a great job walking the fence. He has intentionally stalled on fracking so as to not offend his friends on the left. His “property tax cap” does nothing to stop unfunded state mandates. It does force schools and municipalities to either squeeze their budgets or break the cap and risk taxpayer ire. He refuses to work on public union pension and work rule reform. New York has become a less desirable state to do business in since he assumed the governorship. There is nothing on the horizon to show that New York State’s economic picture will be better in the future. Pennsylvania and Ohio are kicking our butts, as are most states with Republican governors. And he aspires to higher office?
—Dave Iadanza, Farmington
In my perceptions, Gov. Cuomo has taken a path that is balanced for the good of the state, rather than heavily biased by political outlook. I find him to act pragmatically as well, to enable realistic outcomes from the state Legislature.
—Garry Geer, Geer Photography
The governor, while appearing to put state finances on solid ground, has just pushed mandated costs to the city, county and town levels of government. The 2 percent property tax cap has been a failure!
High hopes, lots of promises … and all we get is more of the same. I now believe Mr. Cuomo is using his New York governorship as a steppingstone to further his own career to higher office, and nothing more. I have buyer’s remorse.
—George Thomas, Ogden
Our Gov. Cuomo (as well as numerous other governors) would be refreshingly more effective if the state’s legislative houses were subject to term limits, just as the governor is. This way, he’d be dealing with relatively new faces and ideas, instead of entrenched and overly powerful deadweights he’s burdened with now.
—Tom Shea, Thomas P. Shea Agency Inc.
Gov. Cuomo is a great leader. His choice of Bob Duffy as lieutenant governor was inspired; Duffy takes the edge off Cuomo’s downstate roots, and he has done a great job for upstate. Cuomo’s more conservative budget management and bipartisan approach gives me hope for a better business climate in New York. His strong advocacy in D.C. for disaster relief both in 2011 and after Sandy will help us recover more quickly. He’s doing a much better job than our three previous governors put together.
—Frank Orienter, Rochester
Multiple social, cultural and economic issues must be addressed by the governor and Legislature. These include violence reduction, substance abuse decriminalization, minimum wage increase and government cost infrastructure reduction to include state and local government pension plans.
—Mike Bleeg, Strategic Results
Flash start, slowed by the realities of downstate politics. Going nowhere with the burdens of new taxes from the Obama administration. Anchored by federal, state and local debt for social programs, pensions, etc. Saddled with a senior senator more interested in the politics of personal power than in the real needs of the entire state. Overall grade: C-.
I approve of the governor’s performance because he has done the most of our past leaders. I, however, fault all the legislators for not being able to control costs and lower taxes. They have to work harder to get their costs under control and attract more businesses and jobs. This will enable more funds to enter the area, which will help the economy. We need to look very closely at what we are paying for. … I still think there are a lot of overpaid public employees that enjoy significant benefits that the average worker does not have. I want to see the legislators and all school personnel work longer for the same or less pay. I want to see the quality of the performance increase without salary increases. I want to see more creativity and less political ideology. Maybe this year it will improve.
Cuomo is a liberal politician and a narcissist. Like many in his party, he needs to change his view. It is a shame, actually.
—Mike Kaser, Penfield
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