[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/03/10/spitzer/art.gov.spitzer.gi.jpg caption="A new poll suggests that a majority of New Yorkers would prefer to have disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer in office right now instead of the current governor, David Paterson."]
(CNN) - OK - this one's really got to hurt.
A new poll suggests that a majority of New Yorkers would prefer to have disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer in office right now instead of the current governor, David Paterson.
And the Marist College poll, released Monday, indicates that less than 1 in 5 New Yorkers approve of the job Paterson's doing as governor. Paterson's a Democrat, but even among his own party, only 22 percent think he's doing a good or excellent job in office.
This new Marist poll continues a trend seen in other recent surveys of New York voters that indicate Paterson's numbers are plummeting.
Two-thirds of those polled say Paterson doesn't have what it takes to lead the state.
One reason for Paterson's drop in the polls may be the economy, the number one issue with voters. The survey suggests that 68 percent of New Yorkers disapprove of how Paterson's handling financial challenges facing the state.
"Most polls in New York State showed Paterson's approval rating and favorables around the 50 percent mark at the start of the year, but he has dropped in every poll taken since then," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Current economic conditions will make it tough for many incumbents from both parties if things don't get better by 2010. But an unelected incumbent, like Paterson, faces a particularly skeptical electorate."
About the only positive number in the survey is the 66 percent who believe Paterson's working hard as governor.
Fifty-one percent of those questioned say: bring back Spitzer - the man who Paterson replaced after a prostitution scandal led to his resignation.
Looking ahead to next year, 70 percent of Democrats questioned in the poll say they'd vote for New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in a hypothetical primary matchup, with just 21 percent backing Paterson.
Cuomo, who has not yet revealed whether he plans to run for the top spot, is the son of former three-term New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. He has received national plaudits over the past few months for his investigations into Wall Street bonuses handed out by companies who received taxpayer-funded bailouts.
If Paterson survives a primary challenge, the survey suggests he trails Republican Rudy Giuliani by 15 points in a hypothetical general election matchup. The poll indicates Cuomo would beat Giuliani by 17 points in a possible November 2010 showdown.
The Marist College telephone poll of 1,029 New York voters was conducted April 28-29. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.