Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's approval ratings continue to remain high, according to a new Siena poll, despite an overwhelming feeling among those polled feel Albany is no more transparent than it was when the Governor took office.
“After nine months in a difficult economic climate, it’s impressive that Governor Cuomo has 72 percent of voters viewing him favorably. However, even more impressive is the consistency with which voters from different regions and demographic groups view him,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg in a statement. “He is viewed favorably by 71 percent of voters upstate and in New York City, and by 73 percent of downstate suburban voters."
Meanwhile, both of New York's Senators have seen their approval ratings slip from recent highs. Senator Charles Schumer's approval rating is at 59 percent, down from 67 percent in November of last year. Meanwhile, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's 46 percent approval rating is down from an all-time high of 57 percent in February.
Perhaps more concerning for the junior Senator are the number of voters who say they'd prefer someone else in the job. More than a third of respondents continue to say they'd like to see Senator Gillibrand gone.
“Is the junior senator vulnerable? At this point only 37 percent of voters both view her favorably and are inclined to re-elect her while 21 percent see Gillibrand unfavorably and prefer someone else," said Greenberg. "Right now Gillibrand is ahead but she is well below 50 percent of strong supporters while a sizable percentage of New York voters currently do not know where they stand and could go either way come November 2012."
On a separate note, more New Yorkers are tuning in to the hydrofracking debate, and are remaining skeptical about the benefits even as the percentage of people, as the number of people uncertain about the issue reaches a new high. According to the poll, 51 percent are paying some or a great deal of attention to the issue. However, 16 percent say they don't know or don't have an opinion on the issue.
“More than half of all voters, including a plurality or majority from every region, say they trust opponents of hydrofracking – who argue about the risks to the environment – rather than the supporters – who argue that it’s safe and creates jobs and new energy,” Greenberg said. “Pluralities of Republicans and conservatives are more likely to trust supporters."