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Most disapprove of Cuomo's performance

Rochester Business Journal
January 3, 2014

More than half of respondents to this week's RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll disapprove of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's overall job performance. Most Democrats, however, give him a favorable rating.
Cuomo is slated to deliver his fourth State of the State address Jan. 8.
The governor's disapproval rate was highest among the 37 percent of poll respondents who identified themselves as Republicans. Sixty-nine percent of Republicans said they disapprove of his performance, with 30 percent saying they strongly disapprove. Just 4 percent said they strongly approve.
Among Democrats, 60 percent approve of Cuomo's performance, with 7 percent saying they strongly approve.
Among those who identified themselves as non-affiliated or affiliated with third parties, 63 percent gave Cuomo a thumbs-down.
Cuomo's approval ratings in RBJ reader polls have fallen sharply. When the same question was asked in January 2012, Cuomo's overall approval rating was 83 percent and 34 percent of respondents said they strongly approved of his performance. A year ago, the numbers were 80 percent and 34 percent, respectively.
For Cuomo, 2014 looms large: He is up for re-election in November, and he must decide whether Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, formerly Rochester's mayor, will again be his running mate.
More than two-thirds of respondents say Cuomo should keep Duffy as his running mate.
Cuomo also is likely to face growing pressure to decide whether to make a presidential bid in 2016; most respondents to this poll think he should not run.

Roughly 620 readers participated in this week's poll, conducted Dec. 27 to 30.

What is your opinion of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s overall job performance?
Strongly approve: 9%
Approve: 35%
Disapprove: 32%
Strongly disapprove: 24%

Among Democrats:
Strongly disapprove: 23%
Disapprove: 17%
Approve: 53%
Strongly approve: 7%

Among Republicans:
Strongly disapprove: 30%
Disapprove: 39%
Approve: 27%
Strongly approve: 4%

Among those identifying themselves as non-affiliated or other:
Strongly disapprove: 29%
Disapprove: 34%
Approve: 32%
Strongly approve: 6%

In your view, should Cuomo keep Robert Duffy as his running mate in 2014?
Yes: 67%
No: 33%

In your view, should Cuomo run for president in 2016?
No: 88%
Yes: 12%

What is your political affiliation?
Republican: 37%
Non-affiliated: 35%
Democrat: 23%
Other: 5%

Cuomo is the classic example of a politician who says one thing and does another. There is no transparency, as his office won't even use emails. New York State is still languishing at the bottom of business-friendly states while Cuomo says how great we are. We were better off with (former Gov. David) Paterson; at least he was honest.
—Dom Pullano

If New York State is such a great place to do business, why is it necessary to spend our tax dollars to advertise to us about what a great environment surrounds us? Are these same ads also running in North Carolina, Florida and Texas?
—G. Traikos, Traikos Group

I really don't care either way on Bob Duffy. Cuomo should not run for president because he spends too much time looking at which way the political winds are blowing—i.e., his lack of decision on fracking. We need someone who will lead, not just try to keep ahead of opinion.
—Craig Epperson

I give the governor an A- for his performance thus far. His plan to rein in property taxes is no small feat, given the powerful interest groups on all sides of the issue. He also stood up to the NRA/gun lobby on commonsensical gun safety (not gun control) regulation. Regarding Bob Duffy, I think if anything were to happen to the governor, I can't think of a better person to step in than Bob Duffy; upstate would love him, downstate not so much. Lastly, if Hillary doesn't run (unlikely), I think the governor would be a great replacement.
—Peter Bonenfant

His first two years he had some good sound fiscally conservative and socially centrist policies. However, the SAFE Act will likely be his undoing in 2014.
—Lester Wilson, North Syracuse

As if his five-plus-year delay on hydrofracking isn't bad enough, his sneak attack on our Second Amendment rights through the passage of the (un)SAFE Act is worse. Cuomo has chosen to govern as a dictator, and the Legislature has facilitated it.
—Bob Worden

The governor is an angry bully who is focused only on himself and his own personal agenda for New York State.
—Jeff Hoffman, US Airports

New York needs an administrative leader who uses the office of the governor to effect change. Cuomo is a political hack who tries to follow polling data. The SAFE Act is a perfect example of symbolism over substance. If New York is so "business-friendly," why is it necessary to run television ads saying it is? I am a disappointed Democrat looking for true leadership, not politics as usual. Take some risks; the people will respond.
—Mike Donoghue

We don't need another socialist president!
—John L. Sackett Jr., Byron

I've watched politicians for 30 years, but Cuomo is the worst. He has the demagogue's ability to sound 100 percent righteous while actually doing very underhanded deeds. Upstate economic development is a good example; he launches gimmick programs such as the tax-free zones with endless press conferences, then quietly cuts roads/bridge funding, raises taxes and fees and unleashes his tax, labor and DEC bureaucrats to kill thousands more jobs here, tilting the political balance of power even more toward his political base in New York City. The SAFE Act is his Obamacare—poorly written and poorly implemented, doing great damage to ordinary New Yorkers. He talks about ending corruption while taking $50,000 checks from real estate developers, who aren't contributing out of the goodness of their hearts. Everything about the guy reeks of hypocrisy.
—Bob Sarbane

I can never give a rating higher than strongly disapprove because I believe Mr. Cuomo violated our constitutional rights and due process in the way he forced the so-called SAFE Act on us, and because he is such a strong supporter of the abomination of abortion. He, like Mr. Obama, is intoxicated by the executive order, which is being used to pre-empt the legislative arm of government. Thumbs down all the way around.
—Diane C. Harris, president, Hypotenuse Enterprises Inc.

I believe Gov. Cuomo started off good, but then came the SAFE Act.
—Michael Lawrence

I cannot think of any governor who came in with a lower bar to compare. Gov. Cuomo could have been a lot better if he would have made a decision on fracking based on science only and no politics—there is still time for that.
—Jay Birnbaum

I hope he runs for president so that we can get a new governor. I might even send him a donation.
—T. Baker, Henrietta

This governor passed the so-called SAFE Act in the middle of the night, which violated every New Yorker's 2nd Amendment right according to the U.S. Constitution. He should not win another term, and he should most definitely not run for president of the United States. Just think of the anti-constitutional laws he would drum up as president!
—David Wagner

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has failed to enact genuine reforms to make New York more affordable for residents and businesses, and I hope that he will consider broad, welcoming tax cuts before he is up for re-election in November.
—Peter Gregory, Rochester

I am willing to give the governor an "E for effort." However, he has to do what he said he was going to do and quit playing politics. He has a great opportunity to put this state back on the map; he should do it as promised!
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield

His dictatorial actions in cramming through the unconstitutional SAFE Act in the middle of the night without any legislator having actually read the bill cannot be forgiven.
—George Dounce

The governor has done nothing to live up to his advertising campaign. New York is not “open for business.” New York drives business (and jobs) away. Were it not for Wall Street, we would be near bankruptcy, like Illinois. We need a governor who is serious about reducing the cost of doing business and employing people in this state. Cuomo is not that guy.
—John Calia, Vistage International

Gov. Cuomo did about as well as a Democrat governor could in the state of New York. To get elected, you need to appeal to downstate and New York City, which Gov. Cuomo does very well. Gov. Cuomo took on the unions of New York State, saying their retirement benefits were too large. If Gov. Cuomo runs for president in 2016, he should be defeated soundly in the primaries by former New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. It has been hard for Gov. Cuomo to keep up with all his constituencies. With New York’s great need for jobs, Cuomo is still, until after the election, sitting on the fracking issue, which would bring jobs and tax revenue to Western New York. I don't know a better person to garner Western New York votes for Gov. Cuomo than Bob Duffy.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D., Vanguard Psychiatric Services

He parallels Obama. Obama is crushing the coal industry, and Cuomo has crushed the firearms industry in New York. The gun-friendly states welcome the infrastructure investment and new jobs.
—Daniel Mossien, architect

1/3/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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