Siena poll: Transit woes in NYC hurting Cuomo's popularity
By DAVID KLEPPER
Jul. 18, 2017
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's popularity statewide continues to sag amid his "summer of hell" forecast for New York City regional commuters after ongoing transit breakdowns and delays.
Fifty-two percent of those surveyed in a Siena College poll released Tuesday gave Cuomo an overall favorable rating, down from 61 percent in the college's poll just two months ago. It's Cuomo's lowest favorability rating since 2016.
When asked about transit issues, 59 percent of respondents gave Cuomo poor or fair marks for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, with only 26 percent rating his handling of the MTA as excellent or good.
"It appears likely that a major reason for Cuomo's lower poll numbers relate to issues surrounding the MTA, for which only about one-quarter of voters — downstate and upstate — rate Cuomo favorably," said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.
Just 43 percent rated Cuomo's performance as excellent or good, with 55 percent rating it as fair or poor. Forty-six percent of respondents said they're ready to elect Cuomo to a third term in 2018; 46 percent said they'd prefer another candidate.
The July 9-13 telephone survey of 793 registered voters has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
The poll follows a Quinnipiac University poll released last week that also suggested New Yorkers blame Cuomo for a series of transit breakdowns and delays. Cuomo had predicted that the problems, as well as emergency repairs now underway, would create a "summer of hell" for commuters.
The transit troubles have emerged as a major problem for the governor, who is seeking a third term in 2018 and who is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2020.
When asked who they "hold most accountable" for the MTA, 52 percent of those surveyed by Siena said Cuomo, while 33 percent said Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A spokesman for the governor did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Cuomo's office typically does not discuss political polls.
De Blasio also received low ratings, with 32 percent of respondents saying they have a favorable opinion of the mayor and 49 percent expressing an unfavorable opinion. De Blasio is up for re-election later this year.
In addition, the Siena poll found significant resistance to naming the new Tappan Zee Bridge after Cuomo's father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, a Democrat who served from 1983 to 1994 and was often mentioned as a possible presidential contender.
Forty-seven percent of those surveyed oppose the new name and 37 percent support it. Lawmakers and Cuomo approved the name last month. The old bridge, formally known as the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, will be taken down after the new span opens later this year.