March 3rd, 2009
03:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Record low for Paterson’s sinking poll numbers

Just 26 percent of the state’s registered voters questioned in a Marist poll released Tuesday say they approve of Gov. David Paterson’s job performance.

Just 26 percent of the state’s registered voters questioned in a Marist poll released Tuesday say they approve of Gov. David Paterson’s job performance.

(CNN) - More bad news for New York Gov. David Paterson: in a new poll, the governor's approval rating plummeted 20 points in a month.

Just 26 percent of the state’s registered voters questioned in a Marist poll released Tuesday say they approve of Paterson’s job performance - the lowest approval rating a New York state governor has received in the poll’s 30-year history, and a sharp decline from the governor’s January showing.

Fifty-three percent of those polled said they would vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani if the 2010 vote for governor were held today, while 38 percent said they would back Paterson.

Paterson is losing ground against the former Republican presidential candidate – the two were in a statistical standoff in January's poll, and in November's poll the governor maintained a 51 percent to 41 percent lead.

The sitting governor does fare better than former congressman Rick Lazio. Forty-seven percent would support Paterson in a run against Lazio, while 35 percent would back the congressman. Eighteen percent are undecided.

The state’s financial woes appear to be the reason for Paterson’s sinking approval ratings: Nearly six in 10 of those surveyed say they are dissatisfied with how Paterson is managing New York's budget. Only 30 percent approve of how the governor is handling the state’s financial affairs.

And how do the voters feel about the direction New York is heading? Not great. Sixty-five percent are not happy with the trajectory of the Empire State, with just 27 percent reporting that the state is moving along the right path.

But there may be a silver lining for Paterson: 77 percent of those surveyed think the governor is working hard, and 62 percent believe he understands the problems of voters. Fourty-four percent think Paterson's a good leader.

The Marist poll was conducted February 25-26, with 1,045 New York state registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: David Paterson • New York • Polls • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. reggie

    TIme for a republican to take back control. Pataki did a fine job, as governor. Pataki will make a great senator when he wins Clintons former seat.

    March 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |


    March 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Gabriel

    Govenor Paterson will not be relected if he continues on this path.

    I am sure he has a lot to contribute but he is not inspiring confidence as a Governor. Rather he comes across as petty in his approach to government. His appointment was a huge opportunity to move ahead and deliver to New York.

    .......The Kennedy Debacle........
    ........Health Care Cuts Public Relations Nightmare......whether the campaign is accurate or not .....where is the leadership.....

    March 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Danielle

    While Paterson may not be the man for the job, surely, the people of N.Y. will not put Giuliani in his place. I hope they have more sense than that.

    March 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. John W

    @ just another opinion from NY...... I didn't realize he was so bad.

    March 3, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. me

    New York: Think about this...

    Do you want a republican as governor?

    Arnold is driving California into foreclosure (yes, I said that the way I meant it), Barbour is helping destroy what's left of Mississippi, and Jindal the Page is making sure poor people lose the help they desperately need (after Katrina...something his president simultaneously let happen and still left in ruins) in order to look like a good repubican.

    I guess everybody in New York is rich and white...

    March 3, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Rich

    David Paterson is not well liked because for one thing, he was never elected governor, he just got the job after Eliot Spitzer resigned in scandal. Secondly, David Paterson has only really dealt with 2 major things as governor: a huge budget crisis and appointing a senator to replace Hillary Clinton. With regard to the huge budget crisis, he (despite a reputation for being a liberal Democrat prior to being governor) has very conservative ideas, wanting to drastically cut spending in many areas including those that various liberal interest groups really like spending in. So those interest groups, representing education, health care, and stuff like that, have run TV ads against him for cutting spending (this makes sense because the people their groups represent would face layoffs if the cuts went through). Furthermore, our governor has been and remains a staunch opponent of raising taxes on the wealthy, even though the wealthy pay the same state rate on their state income taxes as someone making $20,000 a year, so his ideas on taxes and spending are very conservative. With regard to the Senate vacancy, that probably got more coverage than anything else so far in his tenure, and he mishandled that by sending mixed signals, and in the end his aides viciously insulted Caroline Kennedy and he chose Kirsten Gillibrand to be senator, despite the fact that pretty much nobody outside her congressional district had ever heard of her. Kirsten Gillibrand was, by the way, the most conservative Democrat representing New York State in the U.S. Congress at the time. So David Paterson is really revealing himself to be quite the conservative, which is unpopular with all the liberal activist groups. Thus he is attacked by liberals and Republicans alike, and there is nobody to defend him. The real objective of liberals is to replace David Paterson with some other Democrat, and this means getting his personal popularity very low. I think this poll shows that this is working, although I would hate to have the right-wing buffoon Rudy Giuliani in charge of anything, since his presidential campaign was the biggest epic fail in history, and all he ever talks about is how he failed to defend his city from the 9/11 attacks when he was mayor. Rudy Giuliani did not win a single state in the Republican primaries and caucuses last year, and there is a reason for that: he is an idiot and even Republicans saw through his nonsense. Our next governor will probably be Andrew Cuomo, our excellent attorney general who is doing a fantastic job for our state.

    March 3, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    He screwed up on Caroline Kennedy's appointment and he never shaves.... what's to like? Bring back Eliot Spitzer!

    March 3, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. The Night Manager

    ITS GIULIANI TIME! I mean, can you imagine doing the "Rudy!" chant, and be referring to your governor? What a wonderful time it will be for New York!

    March 3, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Minnesotan

    Wow. His numbers are starting to bottom out around your average Republican numbers.

    March 3, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Polls, polls and more polls! But nobody seems to ask me anything. Where are they conducting these polls Mars?????

    March 3, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Mike Wilson

    If elected, Giuliani will be 68 when he is inaugurated. At the end of his first term, he'd be 72. He may be a bit too old for the job. Lazio sounds fine. I don't think the next governor will be a democrat.

    March 3, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Ted

    @ The Libertarian of Liverpool:
    Just an FYI, NYC is the economic engine of the state. WE support the North. Still, I agree with you that we need better choices.

    March 3, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. obama-mama

    Raymond March 3rd, 2009 3:24 pm ET

    I wonder if Patterson can see the writing on the wall??


    Wow! That was pretty low...I'm not too fond of him but I didn't think that was funny.

    March 3, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Sharon Kitchen

    O.K. let's say his numbers are so low good ol' rudy wants to run.......
    will he be in a dress/wig?...........................just a thought.

    March 3, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. The One

    Patterson has proven himself to be an inept political hack who is incapable of leadership. Time for Patterson to go. By the way, of the 3 major political offices (Governor, Comptroller and Attorney General) elected by New Yorkers in the last statewide election, the winner of only one (Democrat Andrew Cuomo) is still in that office. Democrats Alan Hevesi and Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace. In fact, Hevesi never even took office and resigned before he was even seated. What does that say for New York voters?

    March 3, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. martin

    Paterson has been the worst governor. Initially, we thought he might be somebody, first blind governor and first African American for NY. Now hes a total joke. I hope Cuomo runs but if not, Giuliani did good for NYC. He was a good leader and got us through 9/11. I'm sure the economy in NY upstate will fare better with Giuliani than Cuomo though.

    March 3, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. cnnnewser

    This man let Caroline Kennedy be made a mockery of....and that we do not forget.

    March 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Mississippi Mike

    Paterson better watch out, Michael Steele is planning to pour a lot of money into New York and Paterson has a big target on his back. If Giuliani can do for the state what he did for the city, New York will be back on top.

    March 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Steve from Florida

    Is anyone surprised?

    March 3, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. KK

    Vote for Guiliani!!!

    March 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Mariaelena

    David Paterson has not had much of a chance to show what he can do as Gov. and what he has done is pretty awful. Don't want to see a GOP in there...but who else?


    March 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Justin from New Haven, CT

    Cuomo needs to primary this guy big time.

    March 3, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. John

    New Yorkers can do a lot better than Rudy Giuliani, the guy's a defective politician.

    March 3, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Shari, NY

    Well, Mr. Paterson, you just happened to be in line when Spitzer misbehaved and decamped the governor's mansion. You could not have taken over at a worse time Despite your handicap you tried your best. Perhaps it would be a god-send (for you) if you are relieved of your duties on the sinking ship! That aside, Rudy Giuliani's iron fisted rule reminds me of the GESTAPO. Criminals on all levels of the economic strata had better start praying. LOL!!!

    March 3, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
1 2 3 4