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.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Governor Andrew Cuomo's sky-high approval rating has reached a new zenith: at 71 percent, Cuomo's now second only to former governor George Pataki's approval rating just after September 11, 2001.
“Gov. Cuomo might not be the most popular governor in the nation, but he’s the most popular – Democrat or Republican – in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. "For example, he’s well-ahead of New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie’s all-time best 59 – 36 percent. Cuomo tops that score among Republicans in New York State.”
On the issue front, the Quinnipiac poll found voters surveyed to be in support of much of the major outstanding legislation floating around Albany.
By a large majority of voters--78 percent overall, including 61 percent of Republicans--support the raising the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour. Seventy-three percent of those polled also support Cuomo's push for a new agency to oversee the caring of the disabled in the state's care.
Nearly three-quarters of voters surveyed also support allowing Las Vegas-style casino gambling in New York, though they are less keen on the process to get there: a plurality of 49 percent support changing the constitution to allow gambling.
“New Yorkers are consistent on the issues left for the Legislature’s closing days. We’re a true-blue state and we like raising the minimum wage,” Carroll said in a statement. “We want to better protect the disabled, even if it means another government agency. We want real casinos, but we’re a little less eager about changing the State Constitution. And we want to know how our teachers are doing, even if we don’t trust the results of the tests.”
United State Senator Kirsten Gillibrand continues to dominate her potential Republican opponents in the polls. Gillibrand's approval rating is at 60 percent with voters. When matched up against any of her potential rivals--Congressman Bob Turner, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, and Manhattan-based attorney Wendy Long--Gillibrand out does her opponents by a two-to-one advantage.
The poll was conducted from May 22 to 28. It consisted of 1,504 New York State voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.