ALBANY — Sure, New Yorkers think the Empire State has improved under Gov. Cuomo, but that doesn't mean they like the guy.
A majority of voters, 51%, believe Cuomo has made the state a better place to live since entering the governor's mansion in 2011, according to a new Siena poll released Tuesday.
But despite the positive feelings, the third-term Democrat's popularity has taken a hit in recent months as his favorability and job performance ratings both reached record lows.
Only 43% of voters have a favorable view of the 61-year-old. That's a drop from June when Cuomo enjoyed a 52% favorability rating.
The governor's job approval also reached its lowest rating, falling to 34%.
"The bad news for Cuomo is that for only the second time, half of voters view him unfavorably. Nearly two-thirds also give him a negative job performance rating," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. "Since June, his favorability rating has fallen double digits with Democrats, Republicans, independents and voters from every region of the state."
New York City residents gave the governor a thumbs up with a 56% positive rating, but upstate and suburban voters weren't as kind. Only 37% of suburbanites approve of Cuomo's performance while a paltry 31% of upstate denizens are happy with the governor.
Cuomo enjoys solid support among his fellow Democrats, with 71% saying they feel he is doing a decent job. But only 19% of Republicans are pleased with the governor.
The governor can seek solace in the fact that he remains steadfastly more appealing to voters than his sometimes rival in the city. Mayor de Blasio, who is mounting a long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, holds a dismal 41% favorability rating among residents statewide. Within the five boroughs, only 37% of voters have a favorable view of the mayor.
Voters across the state seem happy with the end results of a historic legislative session that saw hundreds of bills passed by Democrats, in control of both the Senate and Assembly for the first time in a decade.
A clear majority New Yorkers, 84%, are supportive of a law that ended religious exemptions for vaccinations. Laws expanding the rights of farm workers, ending the use of the gay panic defense, banning plastic bags and moving the state toward zero carbon emissions all remain exceedingly popular.
One law that has faced continuous opposition in the state, a measure allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, remains unpopular with 53% percent of voters against the legislation.
Voters are split, 45% to 44%, on whether the state is overall heading in the right direction and despite the satisfaction with the recent legislative session, both Republicans and Democrats believe the state would be better off with the two parties sharing control of the capital.
Sixty-eight percent of people polled believe a bipartisan system would be beneficial, including 58% of Democrats.
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