April 6th, 2009
12:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Paterson's approval dips to all time low

 Paterson is in a freefall, according to a new poll.

Paterson is in a freefall, according to a new poll.

(CNN) - New York Gov. David Paterson's approval rating has dipped to an all time low, a steep slide that began with his handling of the state's vacant Senate seat more than three months ago.

According to a new survey from Quinnipiac University, only 28 percent of New York voters approve of the job Paterson is doing, while only 22 percent say he deserves to be reelected to a second term. Just over half of the state's voters also say Paterson should announce immediately he will not seek reelection.

The poll also indicates New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo - who has received plaudits of late for his investigations into Wall Street bonuses - would trounce Patterson in a Democratic primary, 53-32 percent. Cuomo would also easily beat Republican Rudy Giuliani in a general election match up, 53-36 percent, according to the poll.

Paterson, whose approval stood at 53 percent last December, has been beset by a series of criticisms over his handling of Caroline Kennedy earlier this year and more recently the state's massive budget shortfall.

The survey also shows troubling signs for New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton when she was tapped for Secretary of State earlier this year. Only 13 percent of New York voters approve of the job Gillibrand is doing while 33 percent disapprove. Over 50 percent remain undecided.

The poll also suggests Gillibrand would have a difficult primary race, should Rep. Carolyn McCarthy decide to run: McCarthy has a narrow 4 point edge over Gillibrand, 33-29 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,528 registered New York voters between April 1-5 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Filed under: David Paterson
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Bob the Observer

    His ratings have gone up for me since the time he didn't let the media crown Caroline Kennedy (lose the last name) as the heir apparent to a free senate seat.

    He's done well in handling the senate debacle brought on by the 16th amendment that destroyed the constitutional provision for state legislatures selecting senators.

    As far as anything else, I'm not from New York, so I'm not privy to New York politics. I think the whole state would be better if NYC were an independent district.

    So it doesn't matter. I do, however, feel badly for the governor who is not being crucified by the press.

    April 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Vickie

    Perhaps this should be a lesson to anyone running for office: if you are required to have a replacement on the ticket with you, make sure it is one who can actually do the job, not just someone to fill the dotted line!

    April 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Deb

    I would take Cuomo but definitely not Gulianni. After his speech at the Republican National Convention I can not stomach him. He was so demeaning and so full of himself and I can not imagine any of that has changed. Just loves himself more with time.

    April 6, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    Chris.... excellent comments...... Cuomo has a "mob-mentality", and he is in it for himself, not the people. Just like his father, whose tax policies still haunt New Yorkers to this day. Thank God I moved from there.

    April 6, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Classy 57

    It's time for a complete overhaul of the politicians in New York State and the Nation. Anyone with two terms should not be reelected, no matter what his political record says. Serving our country is not a lifetime job - it's time for change - throw all the bums out and start over again - rejuvenate this state!!!!!

    April 6, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. charles

    new york becomes a worse place to live every day. its not just patterson's fault either. i'm 30 years old, i've lived here all of my life and i am definitely considering moving out of state within the next year or two. we are taxed to death and have no freedom. NY is a sinking ship.

    April 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Rick

    Interesting, but Gov Peterson cannot be "re-elected to a second term" since he was not elected as governor to a first term. He acceded to the governorship after ex-Gov Spitzer crashed and burned. So "elected as governor in his own right" or similar might be more accurate.

    April 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Dan, TX

    The two major political parties are the Democrats and the Blue Dog Democrats. The third party (Republican) party is on the way out.

    Conservatives (Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, George Bush 41 types)- it is time to support Blue Dog Democrats and abandon the republican class warfare party. We are a center-left nation. Let's move to the center and stay there. No more center-left, center-right.

    April 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Floyd in New York

    This is the beginning of a national trend! Get ready Libs!

    April 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Chris

    I can agree as well, that people can't take it anymore in this state, especially upstate where constituents are constantly ignored.

    They're ignored even by the people they put into office (read Antoine Thompson and Bill Stachowski) because those jokers would rather follow Shelly Silver's lead, than look out for the best interests of the people that put them there in the first place!

    It's a joke!

    April 6, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Kevin in Ohio

    Unfortunately, New Yorkers more often than not think the answer to the failures of one democrat is ANOTHER democrat. People's memories in NY are very short..... remember how Rudy turned around NYC after Dinkins' failure...... of course not.....

    April 6, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Ray

    A bit early isn't it? Maybe it's too many Summer Soldiers.
    Give the man a chance.

    April 6, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Bxgrrl

    I had high hopes for Patterson but he's become the Chief Clown in a bus full of Bozos (i.e., the Democratic controlled NYS Assembly and Senate).

    April 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Alex

    he was denying any $$ for NYC...whats the deal... do people deserve higher MTA/LIRR hikes? less service? picking some congresswomen..instead of kennedy..wow big difference...

    April 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Pepou

    He dug his own grave. He has been incompetent, rude to people (C. Kennedy) and appointed Gillibrand.

    April 6, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    The prob. with Patterson and Gillibrand is that they're conservative democrats. That's just not where the people of this great state are!

    April 6, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Oski


    There's nothing wrong with a lawyer, who serves the public interest, investigating the legal soundness of companies being propped up by public assistance using that money to pay excessive bonuses. If no law has been broken, and no contract agreement violated, then there is no recourse. But, as you write, "I have yet to see any law that has been broke." Hence, Cuomo is investigating the matter, not prosecuting it.

    April 6, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. John of NY

    Actually i like the job he is doing although it isn't always what I want. Patterson isn't afraid to tell it like it is. Unfortunately, he is stuck with a legislature that is completely out of whack and want to spend spend spend – in all the wrong places.
    Patterson actually gets it. Recovery doesn't mean continuing down the path that got us in this mess.

    Although I would still prefer it if the north Country could secede from this state and not deal with the nutcases in the city.

    April 6, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Voter

    Paterson has proved himself to be an incredibly kind and thoughtful person. But he does not radiate any kind of strength in the face of the guys who would give everything to NYC and little or nothing to support business in upstate NY.

    For years, Albany has ignored upstate at its own peril. We are now totally dependent on NYC business interests for revenues. When Wall Street crashed, there was no tax revenue to be had from upstate because jobs and businesses have been exiting in droves. A bit short-sighted, I say.

    Here's a truly bizarre concept for Albany: STOP SPENDING MONEY.
    You guys should have CUT the budget by 2% and taxed the rich more heavily. Just CUT the budget 2% across the board for one full year, and we would be out of this hole.

    We look like California, Mr. Paterson. You complain, you articulate the problem, then you let it all go on anyway. I say bring back the Republicans. At least they knew that NYC is only HALF the state's population. The rest of us are totally ignored by the NYC Dems.

    And I was a Dem for my whole life. It's sad. If I could get out of NYS, I would. Take back the state for the rest of us, Governor, and you'll win next time out.

    April 6, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Mary - Independent

    The Governor of New York is not much different than the Governor of Califonia. We live like "rats" and our leadership has disappeared!

    April 6, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Claude

    As an ex-Upstate NYer from the Syracuse area, it amazes me the short sightedness of New Yorkers who complain of the business and tax environment of NY but yet continue to elect the same corrupt Dems and Repubs to office.

    The down slide of the once great Empire state started with the election of Mario Cuomo and his tax and spend plans that drove businesses out of NY. Combine that with the most dysfunctional state government, highest business taxe (you burp, its taxed), highest utility taxes and its no wonder that so many have left.

    And now you would put the namesake Cuomo back in the office?
    Wake up New Yorkers – its your state elected officials along with the governor that need to go!

    April 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Obama,Queen & The Cosmos Rocks!

    »Wow!...Interesting news...

    April 6, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. JonDie

    Patterson definitely mishandled the senate appointment process. But that seems to be the main issue for the pollster, not whether anything else is being done right in the state of New York (I don't know, I don't live there).

    But could he have won with any appointment other than to pick Kennedy, given that Patterson "took" the senate seat that a Kennedy thought was rightfully hers?

    (Caroline Kennedy might have been the only politically-correct choice but she had NO other rightful claim to the seat).

    I suspect that Cuomo would be a better choice than Rudy, but I suspect that the Kennedys orchestrating this anti-Patterson binge as payback.

    April 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Grandma Jeanne

    Hope he does not run. I will not vote for him. Some of the things that he wanted to put a tax on was crazy, I do not know who give him ideas, so should get rid of them also,

    April 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. patNY

    Patterson claims we all need to share the pain...yet he signs off on a budget that contains millions of "member items", i.e., pork....like several thousand dollars to the Brooklyn Doll Museum, several thousand dollars to the Patchauge Medford cheer squad...I'm not kidding! And he threatens to lay off workers! Patterson is a joke...and I'm thinking the new Senate Majority leader, Malcolm Smith, is one too! Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, he's untouchable and hence, operates like he's royalty...to him, I say, remember what they did to King Louis the XIV?

    April 6, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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