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The Empire

New York State legislators get big boost as Cuomo's favorable ratings inch even higher in latest Siena poll

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Mr. Popularity, Governor Andrew CuomoHalf of all New Yorkers believe the 2011 state legislative session put New York on the right track according to the latest Siena Research Institute poll released this morning.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's approval ratings squeaked up even higher to 71 percent after what many have hailed as a highly successful first session, while the oft-maligned state legislature managed to improve in the eyes of a sizable number of New Yorkers.The state senate's favorable rating improved by 11 points, from 30 percent to 41, while the assembly shot up by 12 points, from a 26 percent favorable rating to 38. Of course, both houses are still unfavorable rating by a plurality of New Yorkers according to poll results.

“For years, the word most often heard to describe state government generally and the Legislature specifically has been ‘dysfunctional.’ In voters’ minds, the Governor and  Legislature took a step forward this year to change that,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a press release. “Nearly half--including at least 45 percent of Democrats, Republicans and voters from every region--said this year’s session shows that state government has become less dysfunctional, while only 18 percent said it has become more dysfunctional and 28 percent said the level of dysfunction remains unchanged.”

Both ethics reform and tax cap legislation scored big points for putting the state on the right track according to the poll. A plurality of voters--46 percent--said the same for same-sex legislation, while 23 percent--the most for any of the pieces of legislation in the poll--thought it made no difference at all.

While Cuomo remains very popular, New Yorkers said the governor should give potential presidential ambitions a break. “Presidential speculation is nothing new for New York governors, however, voters think it is way too early to start printing Cuomo 2016 bumper stickers,” Greenberg said in the release.  “At least 80 percent of voters from every party and region say that the speculation is premature and he should focus on his responsibilities as governor."

Overall, 48 percent of New Yorkers say we're headed on the right track--the best numbers since February 2007 according to the press release. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent.

PDF of the poll results below.

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