Stephen Reader covers politics for It's a Free Country, WNYC's interactive politics site. He joined the station in 2010 and has also worked for Studio 360, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning show about art, culture, and creativity.
The president's job performance rating fell to a new low among New Yorkers in August, according to a recent Siena Poll. But the survey also showed that New Yorkers would still elect Barack Obama over any Republican hopeful.
Obama's approval rating in New York has dropped 10 points since May, to 52 percent, while the percentage of voters viewing him unfavorably rose by nine points to 45 percent. During the same time, the percentage of voters who think he's done a "fair" or "poor" job has risen 16 points; the percentage responding that he's done a "good" or "excellent job" has slipped by 17 points.
Sixty-three percent of New York voters now give Obama a below-average job performance rating.
"[That's] the worst it's ever been," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. "Even Democrats are evenly divided. For the first time since March, fewer than half of voters say they are prepared to re-elect the President."
Still, when asked whether they would vote for Barack Obama or a "Generic" Republican, New Yorkers chose the president 51 - 37. Obama would enjoy the slimmest margin of victory (a mere six points) over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; 44 percent would vote for Giuliani, even though he's not running.
Thirty-seven percent said they'd vote for Mitt Romney over Obama; only 30 percent would choose Ames Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann.
In fact, Romney is the only Republican in the 2012 presidential field with an approval rating higher than 50 percent among registered Republicans in New York. "None of the national front-running Republicans, other than Romney, enjoys significant support among New York Republicans," Greenberg said.
Romney was also identified as the likely winner of the nomination by 36 percent of New York Republicans. No other confirmed candidate breaks out of single digits.
A Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month also showed Obama beating a generic Republican challenger by 15 points, about the same margin as the Siena poll found. New Yorkers surveyed by Quinnipiac, however, gave Obama worse ratings, with only 45 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving.