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Gun Control

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo meets with gun safety advocates in the Red Room during a news conference at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

In the second month of his third term, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has his lowest favorable rating ever. 

A new Siena College poll found Cuomo, a Democrat, has a 43 percent favorable rating and is viewed unfavorably by half of New York voters. It's the highest percentage of voters with an unfavorable opinion of the governor since he became the state's top executive in 2011. 

"Politically, Cuomo's ratings drop is across the board, as he fell with Democrats, Republicans and independents," Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said. "Geographically, his drop was much bigger downstate — New York City and the suburbs — than upstate, where his ratings were significantly lower previously." 

Cuomo has solid support among Democrats, with 59 percent viewing him favorably. But more than a third of voters in his own party have an unfavorable view of the governor. 

His job performance rating among all voters also dipped. Thirty-five percent of respondents gave Cuomo an excellent or good rating. Most voters — 64 percent — rated his job performance as fair or poor. 

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi was skeptical of the poll. He noted there were fewer African-Americans and moderates sampled, while there was an uptick in the number of conservatives surveyed. 

"Siena doesn't always get it right and, color us skeptical, but for the governor, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, the state Senate and the state Assembly to all have similar across-the-board slides leads us to believe this poll is an outlier and — much like the Siena poll three days before the November election — doesn't reflect the sentiment of New Yorkers," Azzopardi said. 

Cuomo's favorability and job performance marks weren't far off from President Donald Trump's standing in the poll. While Cuomo's favorable rating is higher than Trump's 35 percent, their job performance scores were nearly identical. 

One-third of New York voters said Trump is doing an excellent or good job as governor. Two-thirds (66 percent) rated his job performance as fair or poor. 

Despite Cuomo's drop in the polls, bills he's either signed or supported received mostly positive reviews from voters. 

More than two-thirds of respondents said the Child Victims Act, which extends the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, is good for New York. The state Legislature passed the bill last month and Cuomo plans to sign it this week. 

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which adds gender expression and gender identity as protected classes to the state hate crimes law, was deemed good for New York by 61 percent of voters. 

New gun control bills were viewed positively by 55 percent of voters, and half of voters said the DREAM Act, which gives undocumented immigrants access to state financial aid programs, is good for New York. 

The Reproductive Health Act, which updated the state's abortion laws, was supported by a plurality of voters. But it received the most opposition — 32 percent said the measure is bad for New York. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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